The dual-flush gadget by Brondell has certainly made it into my top 10 list of cool and significant green tech devices for 2008. Shipping in 2009, this little device converts any toilet into a dual-flush toilet, allowing a typical household to save 20 percent of its total water consumption. Dual flush toilets are the standard in Europe, but have had little traction here in the U.S. because of their luxury price tag and the fact that water is still relatively inexpensive, making conservation a fairly low priority.

But that will change. A recent government report predicts that within 5 years at least 36 states will experience water shortages, including California which supports 12 percent of the U.S. population and provides much of the nation's produce. It is likely we will see much higher water prices and state-mandated water limits. Fortunately, there is a lot of room for conservation, and dual-flushing is one of those simple little ways to save huge amounts of water.

Brommel Perfect Flush toilet | MNN.comSome stats ... 40 percent of household (indoor) water use is for the toilet with about 100 million toilets still using 3 gallons or more per flush. Nationwide that means 55 billion gallons are being flushed away, and according to Brondell 90 percent of those flushes only need to be half-flushes. OK, let me be a little more straightforward: our poop-to-pee ratio is only 1:10. Very little water is needed for flushing a #1, and that means we are throwing out a whole lot of perfectly clean, potable water for no reason.

You do not need to be a plumber to install the device, and according to the manufacturer it will pay for itself in less than a year through water savings of up to $100. Learn more on the Brondell website.

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