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A Greener Charlottesville: Water Watcher

By: Myles Henderson Email
By: Myles Henderson Email

How can we use less water? A local middle school student has an idea that could save gallons of water every day.
400 billion... That's how many gallons of water we use every day in the U.S. That's a lot of water and lot of water that could one day be conserved by the Water Watcher.

Inventor Elizabeth Rintels says, "My invention is called the Water Watcher and it's a device that hooks up to any faucet or shower head and it beeps every time half a gallon has come through." Elizabeth is a middle school student from Keswick who recently won the $10,000 top prize in the national By Kids For Kids Going Green Challenge.

Her invention, the Water Watcher, reminds you of how much water your really using and encourages you to finish up a bit sooner. Elizabeth says, "The actual amount you will save if you shorten your shower by 1 minute you'll save 5 gallons." That's about 1000 gallons a year and 300 billion gallons nationwide. Elizabeth says she wasn't trying to come up with an invention but the idea just came to her. "While I was in the shower, I just thought of this idea brainstorming about ways that I could conserve water."

The earth's population is increasing every year but the water supply is not. Conserving water is the best and cheapest way to maintain water supplies and the Water Watcher could be the key. Elizabeth says, "I really hope that it gets produced and maybe someday it will be on my shower head."

Do you have an idea for an invention? Visit
Do you want more information about how to conserve water or to calculate how much water you use everyday? Visit the USGS at

If you have a going green idea you would like to share just send Myles an email at

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