In order for resource-conserving technologies to go mainstream, they can’t force the consumer to sacrifice comforts to which he or she is already accustomed. Low-flow shower heads can drastically reduce water consumption, but they’ve got an unattractive reputation for eliminating water pressure. No one wants to feel like they’re showering with a spray bottle, so it’s difficult to get people to install them.

Oxijet is a possible solution to this problem. By injecting tiny air bubbles into the water stream, this unique shower head makes it feel like the shower feel is at full pressure, while actually reducing water use by 50 percent.

CSIRO, Australia, low-flow shower head, water conservation, water consumption
Image via CSIRO Australia

Developed by New Zealand company Felton in collaboration with CSIRO, Australia’s Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation, the Oxijet shower head is different from traditional low-flow heads in a variety of ways.

“Traditional flow restrictors reduce flow and pressure, whereas Oxijet uses the flow energy to draw air into the water stream, making the water droplets hollow,” said Dr Jie Wu, a fluids specialist at CSIRO. “This expands the volume of the shower stream, meaning you can save the same amount of water, while still enjoying your shower.” Also unlike many low-flow heads, the Oxijet can be fitted to almost any standard shower fixture, reducing another barrier to adoption, reports Gizmag.

The need to save water is especially pressing in Australia, where all states are currently under water restrictions or permanent water efficiency measures. This is problematic for both private citizens and businesses, like hotels, where water use is directly tied to customer satisfaction. In tests at the Novotel Northbeach hotel in Wollongong, Australia, customers showed an overwhelming preference for the feel of Oxijet in comparison to other water-saving heads. The only problem? As of right now, it’s only available in Australia.

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