California is entering the fourth year of its historic drought, and the situation in the Golden State continues to look grim. While some Californians have taken modest steps toward conservation, such as letting their lawns dry up and flushing their toilets less often, others in rural parts of the state have had to cope with dry wells and “third-world-type conditions.” To prevent the situation from becoming even more dire, residents throughout the state—and in other parts of the world—need to radically change the ways they consume water. The creators of a new, high-tech shower head believe they can help.

Apple CEO Tim Cook, Google Chairman Eric Schmidt’s family foundation, and thousands of Kickstarter backers are among those who've invested money in the highly-efficient Nebia shower head. The ingenuity of the product lies in the way it disperses water: it atomizes it to create millions of small droplets that cover 10 times the surface area of a conventional shower. The heavy mist washes just as well as a typical shower stream, while using 70 percent less water in the process. 

Americans spend an average of eight minutes a day in the shower, which adds up to 20 gallons of water with a traditional shower head. The founders of Nebia (a spin on the Italian word for “mist”) saw this area as an untapped opportunity for innovation. Now, after five years of testing, Nebia is preparing to release their product into the commercial market. 

Even after receiving major investments from two of the biggest names in Silicon Valley, the company took their idea to Kickstarter to gauge public interest. In just two days they raised $1.3 million, dwarfing their initial goal of $100,000. 

With an estimated retail price of $399, it’s unlikely that there'll be a Nebia shower head in every California bathroom anytime soon. But for those who can afford it, it's a simple way to conserve water and an important step in the right direction. Advance orders can be purchased for $299 with delivery set to start in May 2016. Until then, the shower heads can be found in Equinox Gyms or on the Google and Apple campuses.