This NASA-inspired company is reducing shower water waste

Khairiyah Ramthan
This shower is inspired by NASA technlogy

One company claims that it has invented the world's most efficient shower, taking inspiration from way up in space.

Orbital Systems, a Sweden-based clean-tech company, has come up with a shower that reuses and reduces water consumption through a purification system.

Founder and CEO Mehrdad Mahdjoubi said he found inspiration while working on a "Journey to Mars" design collaboration project between Lund University and NASA's Johnson Space Center.

"You don't have any choice when you're up in space or when you're going to Mars. You have to recycle; you have to use your resources in the best possible way," he told CNBC's "The Rundown" on Friday.

And along this vein, he created the sustainable Oas shower, which earned him a place in the Energy category of 2016's Forbes "30 under 30" list.

The shower saves up to 90 percent of water and 80 percent of energy compared to normal units, and has been dubbed the shower of the future.

An image of a shower head from Orbital Systems.
Courtesy Oribital Systems

The company has raised a total of $25 million in equity funding so far, and has some big name backers like former Tesla executive Peter Carlson and Skype Founder Niklas Zennstrom.

The shower starts off using water from the main supply and stops when there is enough water to circulate in a loop. During the shower, the water is simultaneously passed through a filtration system and purified, so it's ready to be used again.

"In a general shower you would use 10 or 12 liters per minute, which means that in a 10 minute shower, you will use more than a 100 liters of water," said Mahdjoubi.

"What we're doing is that we're using three litres of water and we're looping it in real time and purifying the water. So we essentially use less than a tenth of that water," he explained.

Mahdjoubi added that the Oas shower's user experience is better than the average shower. "It's essentially delivering a better experience while being a much greener experience," he said.

The company plans to branch out into emerging markets in three to five years. "The price of water is not as high as it is in the more developed countries. So it's a natural step to go from developed markets and eventually reach the emerging markets," said Mahdjoubi.

The shower is currently available in Europe and the U.S., and will be available in Asia in the summer. But with a hefty price tag of $3,599 and additional filter and installation costs, the Oas shower is targeted at more affluent consumers.

Still, the company claims that the monetary savings from less water and energy consumption will balance out the shower's steep selling price.

"So we're talking about (saving) up to $1,200 a year," Mahdjoubi claimed.

"Given the fact the actual shower bill is around 40 percent of the household water consumption, it is a significant piece of your daily water consumption," he added.