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.
Indiana U Bloomington Installs Residential Rain Garden
Due to the increase of impervious surface area on campus causing 150 million more gallons of runoff, the university Office of Sustainability and the Campus Division recently partnered to construct the rain garden that was designed to mitigate stormwater runoff issues by incorporating 1,250 plants chosen for their capability to retain and filter water.
Pomona College Adopts Drought Action Plan
(U.S.): With the state of California in its fourth year of drought, the college's new plan reduces landscape irrigation by 20 percent, includes the use of pH controllers on water cooling towers, which reduce the number of water replacement cycles in a building's air conditioning systems, schedules for nighttime watering, and calls for the installation of 750 new low-flow plumbing fixtures.
Louisiana State U Starts Water Bottle Campaign
This fall, the university is giving out punch cards to redeem for a free guest pass or a reusable grocery tote after bringing a refillable bottle 10 times. The university projects that this will save 25,000 to 30,000 bottles out of waterways based on past semester data when the program was first introduced.
Sierra College Reduce Water Usage
(U.S.): Campus landscapes remain green and healthy while saving water through on-going initiatives such as reducing turf areas, planting drought-resistant plants and installing a water efficient irrigation system that have reduced water usage by 20 percent. Additional water saving efforts include pool covers to reduce water evaporation and upcoming upgrades to indoor facilities of low-flow fixtures.
U Arkansas to Maximize Water Conservation Efforts
(U.S.): To reduce water usage and cost, the university will soon install a run-off pond that will supply air conditioning system. Additionally, the irrigation protocol will be redesigned and a $5,000 scholarship that rewards students for sustainability efforts will be created.
Johns Hopkins U Increases Green Efforts
Over the past five years the university has implemented clean energy initiatives such as furniture recycling, compressed natural gas vehicles and installing water bottle-filling stations resulting in the elimination of 456,000 tons of CO2e.
San Diego County Water Authority Promotes Conservation
Students are invited to participate in a new selfie contest of a picture with themselves and a magnet from the authority that says, “When in Drought” in a campaign to increase water conservation efforts such as turning off the water when brushing their teeth.
San Diego State U Conserves Water
The university will soon identify where water is being used to find ways in which water usages can be reduced, such as through the recent installation of a rainwater collection system toward a goal of cutting consumption by 20 percent.
U Alaska Fairbanks Garden Installs Water System
A water system was installed this past spring to allow gardeners to water more efficiently with hoses, instead of hauling buckets and watering cans at the university garden which sells produce at a local market.
Albright College Students Boost Garden Offerings
(U.S.): Students from the college’s garden project began growing herbs and and implemented a new rain barrel system this year, which bolstered ongoing efforts of the pesticide-free agriculture project.
Northern Illinois U Encourages Use of Reusable Water Bottles
(U.S.): In an effort to increase sustainability the university is continuing a campaign to pass out reusable water bottles to students, install water bottle refill stations, and reduce the reliance on disposable plastic water bottles. It is anticipated that 4,500 water bottles will be distributed by the end of fall 2014.
Concordia U Cuts Water Consumption
The university has enacted a new program to reduce water consumption at two campuses by 20 percent over the next three years, which includes facility upgrades and a water consumption awareness campaign for students, faculty and staff.
U Utah Converts to Water Saving Landscape Design
Part of the university’s effort to earn Tree Campus USA recognition, 8,000-square feet of grass were converted to low-water-use trees and shrubs, the funding for which came through a student initiative.
California State U Fresno Plants Desert Landscaping
The new landscaping initiative includes plants and trees that are common to a desert environment in an effort to further water conservation efforts. The university also replaced older sprinkler heads to newer models that use less than half than that of the older technology.
Duke U to Build Rainwater Reclamation Pond
Developed after the worst-on-record 2007 drought, the on-campus, highly visible pond will collect rainwater from 22 percent of campus, and will be used in machinery that cools many campus buildings.
California State U Fresno Introduces Water Conservation Plan
(U.S.): Due to the state's growing drought problem, the university recently announced plans to reduce its water consumption, two-thirds of which are used for campus and farmland irrigation, by 20 percent (60-65 million gallons) by using micro-sprinklers, soil sensors, water meters and drip irrigation.
Western Washington U Prohibits Sale of Bottled Water
(U.S.): In an effort to positively effect social justice and the environment, the university recently approved the move, which will begin in April, after a student-lead campaign was able to get an advisory note on the issue and a campus committee to implement the policy.
Pomona College Constructs Bioswales
In an effort to reduce rain run-off and replenish the underground aquifer, the specially designed catch areas contain water to allow for a slow release into the environment.
Stanford U Implements Water Conservation Methods
The Stanford Community Farm, a one-acre field located on the outskirts of campus, has recently implemented moisture-trapping gardening techniques in order to mitigate water usage in response to the ongoing shortage of rainfall throughout California.
UC Santa Cruz Pilots Water Conservation Campaign
Called the Cold Water Wash competition and using prizes as an incentive, residents in the university's College Eight dorm were asked to use cold water with the goal of reducing natural gas usage. Overall, the campaign ended up saving the equivalent energy of that used by over 10 homes for one year.
San Francisco State U Plants Drought-Tolerant Landscaping
(United States): Due to the state's current drought situation, members of the university's Sustainable SF State and student center's sustainability program are working to educate the campus community about drought-tolerant food, landscaping, and tips for reducing personal consumption.