Gallery: Fishbowl Faucet Encourages Water Conservation – Or Else


So you’re a conservationist, eh? Can you prove it? Can you stop washing your hands before this fish runs out of water? For his appropriately titled Poor Little Fishbowl Sink, designer Yan Lu created a very direct incentive to minimize water usage – when you turn the faucet on, the water level in the fishbowl decreases. It reminds us how precious this resource is, and how our everyday actions can affect the creatures around us. It also reminds us of our childhood pet goldfish, aww. Read on to learn more about this fish-traumatizing faucet.

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  1. Nathan E. Baker November 13, 2014 at 6:05 pm

    It may be more effective to have have a number of blades appear around the rim. If you wash longer than what is healthy, they begin to revolve in a fashion similar to a blender. Too long and they extend toward the center. Perhaps more humane than traumatizing a fish?

  2. kkusakabe April 28, 2011 at 5:39 pm

    Do they design showers as well? 😉

  3. ScubaKathie October 21, 2010 at 2:21 pm

    While I understand this design is used to illustrate a point, I don’t agree with the methods.

    The CDC recommends washing hands for a minimum of 20 seconds, drying your hands and THEN using a paper towel or towel to turn OFF the water. Why? Washing your hands is rather useless (and even more of a water waster) if you immediately re-contaminate them by touching a dirty faucet handle that has the germs that you were trying to remove in the first place.

    I don’t see any way that the invention above encourages water conservation without discouraging healthy living.

    A better idea? Install a motion sensor so the water is not running while you wash your hands, brush your teeth, or whatever. The idea above is similar to shooting one’s self in the head in order to protest a line of hats – a bit counter-productive and really not very practical…

  4. catherinetodd October 20, 2010 at 2:08 pm

    Use a plastic fish to illustrate the point and then there’s nothing to worry about and the excellent point still gets across!

  5. kabivose October 9, 2010 at 10:00 pm

    @quimbone, not the exact words I would have used but yes, I do despair when people who can’t read the article can’t even look at the diagram and THEN feel they have to lecture others.

  6. Ackthpt October 9, 2010 at 4:42 pm

    “People are fucking idiots – that’s where we fail as a species. You people can’t even read this 2 paragraph article, or look at the graphic showing how this works. If we’re doomed it’s because we have too many ADD assholes to babysit on Earth. Fucking stop breeding PLEASE.”

    I agree, and think you should start us off. With that kind of attitude, I’m sure your offspring will be just a blessing.

  7. quimbone October 9, 2010 at 2:00 pm

    People are fucking idiots – that’s where we fail as a species. You people can’t even read this 2 paragraph article, or look at the graphic showing how this works. If we’re doomed it’s because we have too many ADD assholes to babysit on Earth. Fucking stop breeding PLEASE.

  8. nelehjr October 4, 2010 at 5:27 pm

    Poor little fishy! Thats no way to live!!! :,(

  9. zachzachzach September 30, 2010 at 12:49 pm

    @lukep, it does not encourage poor hygiene, it encourages people to not leave the faucet running unnecessarily while brushing their teeth, washing their face, hands, etc. You don\’t need to wash your hands for terribly long to get them clean. Besides, the designer is making a statement, and a very clever one at that, I feel. It\’s not, \”wash your hands and the fish gets it,\” it\’s actually, \”hey, think about how much water you\’re using and more importantly, wasting.\”

  10. lukep September 29, 2010 at 1:03 am

    Saving water is great, but saving it specifically while washing hands is a CRAPPY thing to do to a population of people who daily infect each other with ba-jillions of germs because only 0.00001 percent of the world\’s population (and ZERO of the children) understand what hygene really is.

    I HATE this idea… Perhaps if it were a bigger fish tank over a shower, or a water fountain… Otherwise this idea ENCOURAGES SICKNESS AND POOR HYGENE!

  11. vertickle September 27, 2010 at 10:18 am

    @rjour maybe you missed out on the part where it said, ‘In case you were worried, the water sources for the fish bowl and the faucet are separate: you wouldn’t be washing your hands in fish excrement or sending soapy water back into the bowl’

    Ultimately, it’s an interesting idea. While it doesn’t save water directly like some are confused about, the idea is to encourage water conservation; and it’s doing that through the emotional connection with the fish.

  12. rjour September 25, 2010 at 6:45 pm

    Who the hell would want to wash their hands with water a goldfish has been living in? Not exactly a sanitary thing to do. Probably a good way to get sick actually.

  13. dribble September 23, 2010 at 5:49 pm

    Several of you are not understanding this. This fish’s water is never changed. It is temporarily stored in the base, and then returned.

  14. aerobubbles September 20, 2010 at 3:30 am

    It’s the same water, aquilla. the water from the fish bowl seems to flow into a storage tank in the base of the sink, then the same water is pumped back into the fish bowl. If nothing else, it should at least keep the oxygen levels in the water reasonably high.

  15. yourmom September 19, 2010 at 5:27 am

    so, having 2 separate water sources saves water somehow?

  16. aquilla September 17, 2010 at 4:51 pm

    This is very annoying. A fish cant survive no matter the water comes back. Its not about the water level. Its about the water quality. The water that constantly change is the problem. Most people dont care about this but chlorinated water is not fresh water as in fish tank terms. Changing the water in fish tank is not healthy at all for the fish in it but this? This is much worse.

  17. dirtdiver September 14, 2010 at 6:10 pm

    It would be an amazing trick to pull on an obsessive-compulsive handwashing PETA member.

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