EPA Pays To Develop Tool To “Monitor” Shower Duration Times At Hotels


If the Environmental Protection Agency keeps this crap up, we Americans won’t have any privacy left at all.  This week, not only do the busybodies in the federal government’s People’s-Rights-Stripping Agency want to limit “carbon emissions” from grills, but now they want to know how long hotel 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,” it said. “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.”

Let’s see if we have this straight: the government via the Environmental Protection Agency with a grant to a know it all at the University of Tulsa wants people staying in hotels to shorten their showers (because people who aren’t seeing the bill for how much water they use are bound to use more), so, they are developing a wireless device to attach to shower heads – which are already low flow, you know – that will send data on the number of gallons used in any room to the billing software for the hotel, so that they can bill the guest for the “wasted” water used while bathing.  This is supposed to “modify” behavior by the purse, one supposes.

As if we were tourists staying at Walter’s Alps Chalet, or where ever it was, where five minutes of hot water cost five Swiss Francs.  Not kidding. 

Elizabeth Harrington of the Washington Free Beacon does not say if the hotel industry asked for this device nor how they calculate hot water costs per guest, but she does tell us what the EPA’s grant seeker’s recommendations for shower times are:

[Tyler W. Johannes, Ph.D., an associate professor in the University of Tulsa’s School of Chemical Engineering who is working on the project] 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.

Johannes provided a link to Home Water Works, which recommends taking a five minute shower to reduce water use.

The website, which is a project of the Alliance for Water Efficiency, also suggests watering plants with discarded cold water from showers that take a long time to heat up, and taking “navy showers.”

“The method requires three steps: 1) turn on water to rinse body and hair; 2) turn off water while shampooing hair and washing body with soap and washcloth; 3) resume water flow and rinse off all shampoo and soap,” the group said. “Using this technique, the total duration of water flow can easily be reduced to 5 minutes or less.”

So, for those of us with sinus and lung issues that are helped by steam showers of ten minutes or longer, are doctor’s notes going to be needed to leave the hot water running while we shampoo hair, rinse (with long hair this takes a while), condition hair, pin it up so that the conditioner can sit for the requisite 3-5 minutes while we wash some parts and then use an exfoliating sea salt scrub on the rest?  And then there’s shaving…everyone does different parts.

Seriously, though, for us ladies with long locks…are we going to be penalized for the amount of water it takes to get the conditioner rinsed out?  Or even for using conditioner?

Has this guy ever spent time in the shower during an American winter?  It’s the one time of the day, some of us actually get warm.

According to the breast cancer people, once a month women should feel themselves up in the shower to find any potential lumps or bumps.  That can take a while.  Guys…don’t go there.

And then for those who are athletes of all varieties – a hot shower helps loosen cramped muscles.  Yes, it takes forever sometimes for the water to heat up.  It’s far more water than is needed to water plants.

It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to imagine the leaps the EPA is going to take with this one.

As Jazz Shaw says of the water conservation issue, yes there are parts of the country where water is scarce and, because of current EPA priorities, needs to be conserved.  However, out here where “clean” and potable water actually is massively cleaned up Mississippi River water, or in coastal areas were it’s desalinated, the whole water conservation argument is really not applicable, especially for hotel guests.

So, EPA, get out of my shower.  Thanks to you, it is one of the few places any of us have any privacy any more.  If we pay for the water, who cares how much we use.

About the Author

Cultural Limits
A resident of Flyover Country, Cultural Limits is a rare creature in American Conservatism - committed to not just small government, Christianity and traditional social roles, but non-profits and high arts and culture. Watching politics, observing human behavior and writing are all long-time interests. In her other life, CL writes romance novels under her nom de plume, Patricia Holden (@PatriciaHoldenAuthor on Facebook), and crochets like a mad woman (designs can be found on Facebook @BohemianFlairCrochet and on Pinterest on the Bohemian Flair Crochet board). In religion, CL is Catholic; in work, the jill of all trades when it comes to fundraising software manipulation and event planning; in play, a classically trained soprano and proud citizen of Cardinal Nation, although, during hockey season, Bleeds Blue. She lives in the Mid-Mississippi River Valley with family and two cute and charming tyrants...make that toy dogs.