Ollyy / Shutterstock.com

The tracks are timed to keep your showers under five minutes.

Most Americans could stand to use less water, whether they live in the drought-stricken West or not. Taking shorter showers is one easy way to do that. According to a 2014 Indiana University study, cutting shower time down to 5 minutes (from the average 8.2 minutes) would reduce your household’s indoor water use by about 8 percent. Now the digital radio service Pandora is helping people make this change with a playlist that doubles as a shower timer.

The Metropolitan Water District of Southern California recently partnered with Pandora to curate a “Water Lover’s Station” featuring more than 100 rain- and water-themed tracks, from Adele’s “Set Fire to the Rain” and TLC’s “Waterfalls” to Prince’s “Purple Rain” and Simon and Garfunkel’s “Bridge Over Troubled Water.” (They also made a Spanish-language water-saving playlist for Univision’s Uforia streaming music platform.) Each track is under five minutes long, so simply tune in, take advantage of your bathroom acoustics, and step out of the shower before the song ends.

But keep in mind that taking shorter showers doesn’t let you off the hook entirely. According to the same 2014 study, Americans tend to think curtailment actions—such as reducing toilet flushes and turning the faucet off while brushing your teeth—are the best ways to conserve water. But experts say efficiency improvements, such as using Energy Star appliances, are actually more effective. For example, installing low-flush toilets and washing your clothes in a water-efficient machine will cut your indoor water use by 19 and 17 percent, respectively. The problem is that people are put off by the costs of installation, even though these upgrades will save more money in the long run.

By all means, jam out to your pre-timed Pandora shower playlist. But remember that it’s just one component of a water conservation plan.

Top image: Ollyy / Shutterstock.com.

About the Author

Most Popular

  1. photo: a For Rent sign in a window in San Francisco.
    Coronavirus

    Do Landlords Deserve a Coronavirus Bailout, Too?

    Some renters and homeowners are getting financial assistance during the economic disruption from the coronavirus pandemic. What about landlords?

  2. Equity

    The Last Daycares Standing

    In places where most child cares and schools have closed, in-home family daycares that remain open aren’t seeing the demand  — or the support — they expected.

  3. photo: an empty street in NYC
    Environment

    What a Coronavirus Recovery Could Look Like

    Urban resilience expert Michael Berkowitz shares ideas about how U.S. cities can come back stronger from the social and economic disruption of coronavirus.

  4. photo: South Korean soldiers attempt to disinfect the sidewalks of Seoul's Gagnam district in response to the spread of COVID-19.
    Coronavirus

    Pandemics Are Also an Urban Planning Problem

    Will COVID-19 change how cities are designed? Michele Acuto of the Connected Cities Lab talks about density, urbanization and pandemic preparation.  

  5. photo: An empty park in New Rochelle, a suburb of New York City hit by a spike in coronavirus cases.
    Coronavirus

    Are Suburbs Safer From Coronavirus? Probably Not.

    Urban density does play a role in disease transmission. But rural areas and suburban sprawl aren’t necessarily safer spaces to ride out the Covid-19 crisis.

×