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Save Water: Pee in the Shower

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Photo by <a href="https://www.flickr.com/photos/stevendepolo/">Steven Depolo</a>/Flickr/<a href="https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/">Creative Commons</a>
Photo by Steven Depolo/Flickr/Creative Commons

As the drought continues, there have been many a suggestion on how we can save water around the house, from placing a bucket under the shower as it warms up to installing a new toilet entirely.

Well, here's a novel idea that's sort of the best of both worlds: just pee in the shower.

It's being proposed by Debs Torr and Chris Dobson, students at the University of East Anglia (UEA) in Norwich, UK. The "Go With the Flow" campaign, as it's called, estimates that if everyone in the UK changed their early morning bathroom habits — that is, taking their first pee in the shower instead of the toilet — it would save a staggering 190 million gallons of water and £430 million ($692 million) per year.

If just the university's 15,000 students did this, Dobson, 20, told the BBC that they could "save enough water to fill an Olympic-sized swimming pool 26 times" over the course of a year.

And the math adds up: a single flush of the average toilet consumes 12 liters (3.2 gallons) of water, and costs 2 pence (a little over 3 cents). Multiply that by 15,000 students at UEA, and the campus could save £125,000 per year.

Dobson explains, "The campaign has been really divisive — people either seem to love it or hate it... But that's exactly what we want. We're trying to challenge conventional behaviour; to start a debate on a resource that we largely take for granted."

So how would such an initiative fare across the pond? Some speedy number crunching suggests that in the United States with a population of 316.1 million, we could conceivably save 3.79 billion gallons of water every morning if we simply skipped the toilet and went straight to the shower. And that's no drop in the bucket.

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