I'm a great lover of a long hot shower. It rejuvenates sore muscles after gardening and gets my mind moving in the morning. I tried the 5-minute shower approach to saving water and knew it wasn't going to work for me. What's a girl to do?
Several years ago I installed a low flow shower head -- quite advanced for the time -- that had a 2.5 gpm output. I never even noticed the difference in the switch. Progress marches on though and I started to notice that there were much more efficient ones out there... but for a gigantic price. I resisted.
But then my stepdaughter moved in with me and suddenly there were two lovers of long hot showers in the house. Often that wanted to shower at the same time! The shower in her bathroom was an original to the house full blast model and she was a lot closer to the water heater. It became a race to see who could start their shower first in the morning.
And how much water were we using? I don't even want to think about it.
So I picked up a new shower head. I ended up with the Earth Massage 1.5 gpm Shower Head because I'd seen good reviews and it was a 10th of the price of my second choice. I put it on "my" shower and the old 2.5gpm on my stepdaughters.
The end result is that even though I have an extra shower lover in the house, our water consumption has still dropped with an amazing side benefit -- she and I can both take our showers at the same time without running out of hot water.
I still feel bad about how long I shower, but it's a step in the right direction.