The EPA wants to monitor hotel guests' shower lengths

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) wants hotels to monitor how much time its guests spend in the shower. The agency is spending $15,000 to create a wireless system that will track how much water a hotel guest uses to get them to “modify their behavior.”

“Hotels consume a significant amount of water in the U.S. and around the world,” an EPA grant to the University of Tulsa reads. “Most hotels do not monitor individual guest water usage and as a result, millions of gallons of potable water are wasted every year by hotel guests.”

“The proposed work aims to develop a novel low cost wireless device for monitoring water use from hotel guest room showers. This device will be designed to fit most new and existing hotel shower fixtures and will wirelessly transmit hotel guest water usage data to a central hotel accounting system.”

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The funding is going toward creating a prototype and market analysis for the device. The goal of the project is to change the behavior of Americans when they stay at hotels, the Washington Free Beacon reports.

“This technology will provide hotel guests with the ability to monitor their daily water online or using a smartphone app and will assist hotel guest in modifying their behavior to help conserve water,” the grant said.

The EPA is concerned that the average shower, which lasts just eight minutes, uses 18 gallons of water, and has asked Americans to reduce their shower length by at least one minute.

Tyler  Johannes, Ph.D., an associate professor in the University of Tulsa’s School of Chemical Engineering who is working on the project, told the Washington Free Beacon that the researchers hope to see the technology “adopted by all major hotels and used across the country.”

He said the device seeks to get hotel guests to limit their showers to seven minutes as a start. Johannes and his team assumed the average hotel shower lasts 8.2 minutes, using 17.2 gallons of water per guest per shower.

“Initially our device/app seeks to get hotel guests to reduce their water use by 10 percent or to reduce their showers by about one minute,” he said.

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