North Carolina State U Installs System to Reclaim Water
A new reclaimed water system designed by NC State Energy Management and a Utilities and Engineering student intern collects the unused water from the Cates Utility Plant and reroutes that water for use in the facility’s cooling towers, which uses more than 20 million gallons of water annually to cool refrigerant in the facility’s chillers. The new system is anticipated to reduce water costs by about $6,000 annually and achieving a full return on investment in less than 18 months.
U Nebraska Medical Center Sets 2030 Carbon Neutrality Goal
Over the next 13 years, a new set of goals calls for the university and its partner, Nebraska Medicine, to become carbon neutral, with all the energy they use coming from renewable resources produced either on or off campus. The goals also call for reducing waste to zero and using less water than what falls on the main campus during an average year, about 104 million gallons.
U Florida Launches Public Water Quality Website
The UF Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences launched a new website to teach Florida residents how to preserve and protect the state’s quality of water. The site is targeted at different roles of people regarding how to be more efficient with their water usage. Topics include water use in agriculture involving irrigation and fertilizers, water use in nature, like aquifers and wetlands, and how homeowners and builders use water in urban settings.
Three Georgia Universities Address State Water Crisis
Open to students at Emory, University of Georgia and Georgia State University, the recently concluded Sustainability Case Competition asked participants to create a five-year plan to mitigate Georgia's water crisis, taking water conservation, distribution, resilience and impact on community stakeholders into account. The winning team has chance to work with the Department of Watershed Management on implementing their five-year plan, and all participants have the opportunity to intern.
Northern Arizona U Building Earns LEED Gold
The university's Aquatic and Tennis Complex features recycled material use, such as steel, carpet and acoustical tiles, the use of native and climate-adapted plants, high-efficiency lamp sources and daylighting, and water-efficient fixtures and water bottle/drinking fountain stations.
Auburn U Implements Water Restrictions Due to Drought
Due to extreme drought conditions, the university has reduced landscaping irrigation across campus, and will reduce irrigation on athletic and recreation fields at season's end, and has discontinued vehicle washing and pressure washing of paved surfaces except for health and safety concerns, and rescheduled routine cooling tower preventative maintenance at chilled water plants.
Architectural Record Covers Campus Sustainable Development
In the November 2016 issue, Architectural Record centered around design and development of the built environment on campuses across the U.S, with a spotlight on three schools. The issue highlighted Chatham University’s Eden Hall Campus, a full-cycle water reclamation, net-positive energy production and zero-waste operations campus, Hampshire College's R.W. Kern Center, a building constructed to meet the Living Building Challenge guidelines, and Cornell University’s 352-unit, 26-story tower high-rise designed to Passive House standards (set to open 2017).
North Carolina State U Reaches State-Mandated Energy & Water Goal
Despite a more than 50 percent increase in campus square footage, the university reduced campus energy use by 33 percent and water use by 50 percent per gross square-foot, as indicated by a piece of legislation that became law in 2007. The legislation calls for a 30 percent reduction in energy use per gross square foot from the 2003 baseline and a 50 percent reduction in water use per gross square foot from the 2002 baseline.
U Iowa to Launch Water Sustainability Graduate Program with $3M Grant
The university has received a five-year, $3 million National Science Foundation Research Traineeship grant that will be used to develop a Sustainable Water Development graduate program. With a planned launch of fall 2017, the program will train about 50 master's and doctoral students to address water, food and energy challenges facing resource-limited communities.
U North Carolina Chapel Hill Announces Three Zeros Initiative
The university's new Three Zeros Initiative strives to achieve greenhouse gas neutrality, water neutrality and zero waste by addressing individual behaviors, teaching and how the campus can model new, innovative approaches while having a global impact. Three Zeros stemmed from the new Sustainability Plan, which is the university's framework for examining campus-wide sustainability efforts and identifying ways to integrate them into teaching, research and engagement activities.
U California Berkeley Enters $4M Partnership with Brita
The 10-year, $4 million partnership beginning in the 2016-17 academic year bolsters the university's Refills not Landfills program, an effort to encourage students and the campus community to drink from reusable containers. The partnership includes distribution of Brita products, monetary support to departments and an on-campus Brita filter-recycling program.
U Utah Building Achieves LEED Platinum
The one-year old building features a 65 percent reduction in energy costs through structural design and passive solar orientation, solar power generation, natural light, recycling and re-using grey water to flush toilets, and a focus on energy efficiency.
Butler U Building Supports LEED Gold
A $34 million renovation of the university's Hinkle Fieldhouse includes new roof with a white cap sheet that reflects sunlight, bicycle storage and changing rooms, low-flow water fixtures and a two-year contract to purchase at least 35 percent of the building’s electricity from renewable sources.
Michigan State U Implements Campus-Wide Tobacco Ban
The campus-wide ban on the use of tobacco products, to begin mid-August, is part of an ongoing effort to ensure the community can enjoy the healthiest campus possible, which includes not only immediate physical health of humans, but the health of waterways. Cigarette butts release pollutants into the ecosystem as they break down.
U California Merced Installs Hydrogel Into Soil
In an effort to conserve water and maintain an attractive landscape, the university uses a hydrogel system, which acts as a water and nutrient reservoir, allowing water to be released slowly into the soil and roots.
U Texas Austin & Huston-Tillotson U Win College Sports Sustainability Contest
The University of Texas at Austin and Huston-Tillotson University were announced as the two inaugural winners of the College Sports Sustainability Makeover Contest at the Green Sports Alliance Summit. Designed to highlight college athletics' ability to influence fan sustainability behavior and boost college sports sustainability, the winners will receive a prize package valued at $50,000.
Emory U to Launch $1.5M Sustainability Revolving Fund
The soon-to-launch $1.5 million, self-replenishing program will be used to fund capital-intensive energy and water efficiency projects. Made possible by a $500,000 grant from The Kendeda Fund and matched with $1 million from the university, Emory also joins the Billion Dollar Green Challenge led by the Sustainable Endowments Institute.
Michigan State U Water Research Reveals Campus Behavior
A recent survey of students, faculty and staff revealed that 37 percent prefer tap water while 36.6 percent prefer bottled water, 39 percent use filtered water stations, and 90 percent understand that bottled water has a higher environmental and economic cost than tap water. These insights will be used to help improve recycling programs and create awareness of refill stations across campus.
U California Los Angeles Students Win Grant for Storm Water System
As part of the Sustainability Action Research program, five students from the Resilience Team received $18,000 from the Green Initiative Fund for a 200,000-gallon water capture system in order to save an estimated 1.22 million gallons of water per year. The system is intended to supplement water currently supplied by the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power for the university's irrigation system.
U Alberta Student Creates Method to Save Water in Labs
To reduce water in the university's chemistry labs, undergraduate Alex Schoeddert in collaboration with faculty member Sarah Pelletier built a water reuse system that will save up to 1,900 gallons of water each year.
Indiana U Completes Student-Funded Rain Garden
The newly completed rain garden installation was funded by the Student Sustainability Council and facilitated by one of the working groups of the Office of Sustainability. The garden was conceptualized, proposed, funded and installed by students.
EPA Honors Winners of Campus RainWorks Challenge
In April 2016, the Environmental Protection Agency announced four winners and two honorable mentions for the 2015 Campus RainWorks Challenge. University of Texas at Arlington (Master Plan category) and University of Maryland, College Park (Demonstration Project category) were first place winners, with Stevens Institute of Technology (Master Plan) and University of California, Berkeley (Demonstration Project) taking second place. The Campus RainWorks Challenge encourages students to learn about the current or potential impacts of climate change on campus and demonstrate how using green infrastructure practices on their campuses can build resiliency to those impacts while effectively managing stormwater runoff.
Four Universities Receive Water Research Funding From EPA
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency announced $3.3 million to research human and ecological health impacts associated with water reuse and conservation practices. Of the five institutions selected, the four universities are the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, Utah State University, University of Nevada, Las Vegas and University of California Riverside. Selected by the EPA in conjunction with the White House Water Summit, this research will evaluate how reclaimed water applications such as drinking water reuse, replenishing groundwater and irrigation can affect public and ecological health.
U Nebraska-Lincoln to Upgrade Irrigation System
A new campus-wide upgrade to irrigation piping is underway and projected to decrease campus water use by 20 percent annually. The new system allows employees to control and monitor watering from a centralized location.
U Washington Tacoma Tracks Source of Tainted Water
The university's Tacoma campus, UWT, was built on what was once home to commercial and industrial uses such as dry cleaning, auto-repair operations and other manufacturing, reports a recent article from The Seattle Times. University officials have already spent about $7 million since the mid-1990s investigating and in clean-up, but a proposed legal agreement between the UWT and the state Department of Ecology seeks to pinpoint the source.
Duke Kunshan U Campus to Receive LEED Certification
Duke Kunshan University is the first Chinese university campus to be certified by the Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) campus program, with all five campus buildings certified by the U.S. Green Building Council. The campus is distinguished by its use of aquatic elements to absorb, store, permeate, purify and reuse rainwater. Classrooms are equipped with air filtration and carbon dioxide monitoring and 32 percent of the campus site is covered in oxygen-generating native plants. Buildings make use of natural light to reduce energy consumption, high-efficiency water fixtures and solar thermal collectors.
Mott CC Launches Water Info Webpage With Lead Results
The community college, located in Flint, Michigan, updates a webpage with regular results of water tests for its main campus and any necessary actions taken if results were out of compliance. The webpage also gives updated information on the availability and distribution of bottled water, water testing kits and filters for students and employees, and information, updates and resources related to the water situation in Flint.
U Colorado Boulder Athletics Engages Fans in Water Conservation
As part of the university's new Water for the West campaign, fans at home basketball games will be prompted by an announcement to send a text message pledging to conserve water. For each text pledge received, CU Athletics will restore 1,000 gallons of water to the Colorado River Basin through a partnership with Change the Course, a national water initiative that engages the public, corporations and the conservation community in restoring water for people and nature. Through Water for the West, CU Athletics is restoring 10 million gallons of water to projects in the state of Colorado, balancing the estimated 12 million gallons of water used annually by the department for everything from watering Folsom Field to accommodating hundreds of thousands of fans at large-scale sporting events.
Duke U Saves 400,000 Plastic Bottles
With the help of water refilling stations across the university, Duke University students, faculty and staff saved about 400,000 plastic bottles last year by filling up their own reusable containers. Since January 2014, the university has installed 50 water bottle filling stations in athletic and academic buildings throughout campus.
Duke U Opens Water Reclamation Pond
The newly opened pond is 5.5 acres and is projected to save up to 100 million gallons of water a year. The water will be used to pump water across campus to cool buildings. The new process is projected to save the university approximately $400,000 per year in avoided city water expenditures.
U California Davis to Save 61M Gallons of Water
In an effort to combat ongoing drought issues, using recycled water instead of well water to help cool the campus' chilled water supply will result in a savings of 9 percent of total potable water use for a year.
Michigan State U Students Create Stormwater Walking Tour
Funded by the university's student sustainability fee, the new walking program is a self-directed tour that educates participants about the various methods of stormwater management the campus has integrated into its built environment in order to protect and preserve the state's Red Cedar River.
New Mexico State U Student Gardens Display New Irrigation System
A newly constructed rainwater harvesting system, consisting of the collection and storage of precipitation for use on site, will serve as a teaching and learning tool for students by encouraging cost-benefit analysis, calculating storage tank capacity, and how much water is needed for each crop.
North Carolina State U Gets Water Re-Use Line
A mutually beneficial water reclamation project jointly run by the city of Raleigh and the university’s Centennial Campus will provide a cheaper source of non-potable water for irrigating the campus' golf course, and eventually the central utility plant, on the 1,100-acre research campus.
Calicut U Digs Rain Water Holding Pits
(India): In preparation for monsoon season and seeking ways to benefit from the massive rainfall period, the university recently began digging 8,000 pits and five large ponds in order to recharge the water table on the 540-acre campus.
EPA Visits Emory U Water Reclamation Facility
Gina McCarthy, administrator of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, visited the facility in February, and was particularly interested in the facility's application for agricultural water needs, and Emory’s agreement with the county, which stands to benefit from the increase in available potable water and from the significant reduction in wastewater flowing to its treatment facilities.
U California Merced Develops System to Report Water Leaks
New software developed at UC Merced allows anyone on campus with a smart phone to report water leaks to Facilities in a couple of easy steps. Facilities and Operations in mid-March installed quick-response-code stickers that contain two different QR codes, one for leaky sinks and the other for leaky toilets, individually programmed for each specific restroom.
Stanford U Students Petition for Drought-Tolerant Landscaping
The recently presented petition with over 800 signatures asks the university to replace non-signature Stanford grassy areas with native landscaping in order to reduce water consumption. According to the petition, watering plants makes up 40 percent of the university's annual water use.
Emory U Cleans Campus Wastewater for Reuse
A new wastewater reclamation system, called WaterHub, allows the university to clean effluent and reuse nearly 300,000 gallons of campus wastewater daily, cutting potable water consumption as much as 35 percent and projected to save the university millions in water utility costs over a 20-year period. In addition, the project will serve as a living laboratory by allowing students to analyze wastewater samples at various stages of treatment.
Purchase College SUNY Receives $765K for Infrastructure
The recently awarded $765,000 from the Regional Economic Development Council will be used for bio-retention swales and porous pavers in an effort to divert water while still allowing it to permeate the surface instead of going down the storm drains.
U California Santa Cruz Students Engage in Water Conservation
The City of Santa Cruz implemented a 25 percent water restriction to which the university's Sustainability Office responded with a creation of a student Drought Response Team that has audited water fixtures in 64 of 104 buildings resulting in 91 repaired leaks. The team has also created a signage campaign to educate the campus about the importance of water conservation.
Union College to Complete Rain Garden
(U.S.): Spearheaded by a student who spent a recent summer installing rainwater capture systems, the college's green fee selected the rain garden as one of 15 funded projects. The system will be designed to bio-filter roadway runoff water from a residence hall currently under construction.
Bakersfield College Asks Campus to Help Reduce Water Consumption
With California's current water shortage situation, the college is calling on the campus community to report leaks and be more mindful of water use while it will be working on replacing 50-year-old water lines and installing more efficient sprinkler heads.