The green as bean folks at TreeHugger have an amusing post of how to save water by showering Japanese style:
To clean yourself before you got into the bath water, you did not use a conventional shower, but sit on a stool with a wooden bucket and ladle, soap and a sponge, and in the more modern showers, a hand shower that was is used when needed for rinsing and never left on to run into the drain. Sitting while you shower is safer and I found a lot more relaxing; having no water running meant that I could take as long as I wanted.
One of the comments below the post noted how the Japanese reuse the bath water to be used inside clothes machine washers, a great idea that draught stricken LA should consider implementing. If anything, it goes to show how innovation is born out of necessity, and perhaps in the coming years as LA begins to battle water shortages, these sort of practices won't seem so strange and we can balance convenience with careful resource management.
[image from The Japanese Bath]