U California Santa Cruz Constructs Closed-Looped Car Wash

(U.S.): The university has constructed a pressure washing system supplied by a closed-loop water recycling system to prevent contaminating the sewer or bay. Water is cycled through the system using microbes to eat and digest contaminants such as oil. The system helps to locate and eliminate oil leaks that find their way onto roads while keeping fleet vehicles clean using less water in the process.

Auburn U Installs Rainwater Catchment System

(U.S.): In an effort to minimize stormwater runoff, the university’s Landscape Services Department has installed a cistern around a campus building. The water collected from the roof run-off will be sent to a holding tank and then used for watering a nearby garden.

Texas A&M U Installs Green Roof

A section of a campus building’s rooftop has been transformed into a green roof with succulents, grasses and a weather station by an interdisciplinary group of students in phase one of a three-year research initiative. The project also calls for students to design and build a living wall, a vegetated wall that achieves benefits similar to green roofs and investigate its performance.

U Illinois Debuts Green Roof

Installed atop the university’s Conference Center, the 3,000-square-foot green roof will help insulate the building, absorb and filter rainwater, improve air quality and prevent roof deterioration. The project received a $33,000 grant from the Illinois Environmental Grant Program for Stormwater Management.

Catholic U Installs Green Roof

The university has installed its third green roof on campus as part of the university’s efforts to foster sustainability and environmental stewardship. The 1,488-square-foot installation will reduce stormwater run-off and prevent UV radiation and extreme temperatures from degrading the underlying roof membrane.

Purdue U Dedicates Green Roof Laboratory

After raising more than $125,000 for the project, School of Civil Engineering students have unveiled a new green roof laboratory to celebrate the school’s 125th anniversary. Featuring soil and plant media, sensors to measure energy, and a weather station, the roof will provide a lab space to work on sustainability and green initiatives. The School of Civil Engineering, industrial partners, alumni and sustainability funds covered the additional $900,000 cost.

Syracuse U Monitors Green Roof

A civil engineering professor and a team of students have installed monitoring equipment on a rooftop garden that will gather data and show how effective the 1.5-acre roof system is at stemming stormwater runoff. Once the equipment is established, real-time data will be available on a website designed to allow teachers to use the information in their classrooms.

U Chicago Develops Green Roof Map

Interns with the university’s Environment, Agriculture and Food Group, along with the City of Chicago, Green Roofs for Healthy Cities and Loyola University’s Office of Sustainability, have developed the Chicago Campus Green Roofs Tool. The interactive mapping application features campus green roof locations, photos, performance data and information on public accessibility.

Indiana U Competition Saves 7 M Gallons of Water

In its first three weeks, the university’s Million Gallon Challenge has saved 7.3 million gallons of water. The campus launched the challenge to not only reduce water usage on campus but also raise awareness of the City of Bloomington's emergency water restriction order.

Portland State U Students Install Green Roof

Students have installed a 3,000-square-foot green roof as part of a living laboratory for civil and environmental engineering classes. Research will be conducted on the differences between the native and non-native plants.

Gannon U Installs 2 Green Roofs

Two green roofs consisting of 67 plants of seven varieties will be installed on Zurn Science Center as a senior gift from the university’s class of 2012. Last year the class participated in fundraising campaigns that raised $1,700 to help fund the project.

Northeast Wisconsin Technical College Debuts Green Roof

Installed on the student commons building, the new 2,500-square-foot green roof will provide stormwater management and increase insulation. The roof, situated next to two variations of traditional roofs, will provide an opportunity to compare energy savings and test benefit claims. In the future, the college also hopes to install a cistern to collect rainwater to replace the current sprinkler system.

Texas State U San Marcos Announces New Water, Environment Center

The university's planned $10 million expansion of its water and environmental quality research and teaching program will include a new Meadows Center for Water and the Environment. The initiative will be funded by a $1 million gift from the Meadows Foundation, additional endowment gifts during the next few years totaling $5 million, and state funds earmarked for emerging research universities.

U Cincinnati Installs Green Roof

Installed atop the College of Nursing’s Procter Hall, the green roof contains drought resistant plants that will help achieve energy savings, sound insulation and stormwater run-off reduction.

Hamline U Installs Green Roof

Installed atop the university’s new Anderson Center, the 1,800-square-foot LiveRoof Hybrid Green Roof system will help achieve energy savings, sound insulation and stormwater run-off reduction.

Georgia Tech Installs Low-Flow Plumbing Fixtures

In an effort to conserve water and reduce utility costs, the institute’s Energy Conservation team has completed a urinal replacement project. With 308 automatic, low-flow urinals now in several older buildings on campus, the institute expects to save up to 5,300 gallons of water per day and savings of up to $54,000 annually.

Queen’s U Launches Water Initiative

Led by the Faculty of Engineering and Applied Science's Department of Civil Engineering, this 10-year water initiative is bringing researchers and industry partners together to expand research and provide hands-on learning experiences for graduate and undergraduate students. The project aims to raise awareness of the impact of industrial development and agriculture on watershed health and water supplies.

U Wisconsin System Launches Water Technology Initiative

In partnership with the Milwaukee Water Council, the University of Wisconsin System's water technology project will tap the specific strengths of its five campuses to integrate STEM education and create new approaches to the sustainable use of water systems. The initiative will receive ongoing guidance from the Business-Higher Education Forum, an organization working to close gaps between higher education and the professional workforce.

U Texas Austin Debuts Water-Efficient Irrigation System

To address costly issues of water conservation, as well as breaks and inadequacies in the prior watering system, the university has completed a central irrigation system. The system has the ability to track gallon usage, detect breaks, keep track of rainfall and track water evaporation as it happens. It can be operated and monitored from a single computer, a smartphone or a remote control. Since its completion in April, the university has saved 3.8 million gallons of water.

William Peace U Launches Rainwater Harvesting Project

The university's Rainwater Harvesting System Clean Water Management Trust Fund Grant Project, a $710,000 campus-wide water conservation program, includes a cistern that will supply 90 percent of the irrigation water needed for on-campus use. The university will also install new showerheads and sink aerators.

Texas A&M U Addresses State Water Conservation Needs

The university has announced the formation of a new Water Conservation and Technology Center that will work to address Texas’ long-term water development needs. The center will focus on water conservation, water reuse, groundwater desalination and energy development.

Loyola U Chicago Announces Bottled Water Ban

The university has announced that bottled water will no longer be sold on campus starting in 2013. The decision follows a year-long educational campaign, "UnCap Loyola," which focused on local water privatization and fair access to water on a global level.

Delta College Unveils Interpretive Stormwater Management Signage

With a grant from Bay Area Community Foundation, the signs provide an introduction to the campus' redesigned watercourse, natural filtration system and habitat restoration efforts. Students and visitors can now learn about the project materials and methods selected to reduce environmental impact and support the local economy.

Victoria U Pilots Program to Convert Waste Heat for Distillation

(Australia): Results from the Institute for Sustainability and Innovation's three-month trial operation demonstrate the potential for a membrane distillation process using waste heat from heavy industry to desalinate saline effluent. The system produced high-quality water without an increase in greenhouse gas emissions.

Trinity U Uses Reclaimed Water for Plumbing

In an effort to conserve water, Trinity University (Texas) has installed new toilets that use reclaimed water. The system uses condensate captured from the air conditioning system in the university’s Center for the Sciences and Innovation and is then treated and pumped to toilets and urinals.

U Washington Installs Rain Garden

The University of Washington has transformed a campus courtyard into a rain garden to manage stormwater runoff. The university has plans for at least three more rain gardens, two of which will be finished by summer 2012.

Temple U Highlights Water Conservation through Theater

Temple University's (PA) recent production of "Urinetown" served as a musical platform to incite a campus dialogue about water conservation. Exploring themes of water shortage and over-consumption in society, the musical was chosen to raise awareness and encourage personal responsibility for water usage.

Clarkson U to Build Stormwater Detention Pond

Clarkson University (NY) is gearing up to build a drainage system and detention pond that will manage stormwater run-off that currently floods the campus and nearby streets. With the new system, water will flow into a basin and continue into a larger pond, eventually making its way toward the existing campus wetlands. The project is expected to cost about $500,000.

Stetson U Adopts Water Conservation Theme for the Academic Year

Stetson University (FL) has adopted "water sustainability" as its theme for the 2011-2012 academic year. Stetson GREEN, a sustainable initiative program, will bring together people who have worked independently on water conservation issues to plan conservation-themed activities and projects. Efforts will include field studies, surveys on water usage, water-themed academic courses, public education, research, guest lecturers and community volunteerism focused on protecting natural water resources.

U California Merced Hosts Student Water Conservation Competition

To raises awareness and motivate students to reduce their water consumption, the University of California, Merced has launched a month-long water conservation challenge. More than 500 students in nine residence halls will compete to conserve the most water for a chance to win prizes including a $1,000 donation to a local nonprofit organization. Students can check their real-time water usage and hall rankings online.

USA Today Highlights Rise of Campus Hydration Stations

USA Today recently covered the rise of hydration station installations on campus as more colleges and universities ban the sale of bottled water. Hydration station manufacturers Elkay and Brita each report that about 150 colleges and universities have installed their refilling stations.

Antioch U New England Installs Permeable Walkways

With the aim of managing stormwater, Antioch University New England (NH) has started replacing walkways with permeable pavement. Rain and snowmelt seep down through the porous pavement into a stone base and percolate into the soil underneath. Less stormwater runs off to pollute nearby surface waters unlike conventional pavement, which sheds water. Research from the University of New Hampshire has shown that pervious pavement can eliminate the pooling of water and reduce the need for de-icing products by as much as 70 percent.

Binghamton U Announces Water Harvesting Project

Binghamton University (NY) has announced the installation of four tanks for a green water harvesting project. Two hundred thousand gallons of water will be retained for toilet flushing and to provide water for the campus cooling towers. Once the tanks are installed, the university will put in a rainwater retention system collected from parking lots and roofs. The accumulation and storing of water is planned for 2013 with the opening of its Center for Excellence.

Monmouth College Installs Rain Garden to Curb Water Pollution

Monmouth College (IL) has installed a rain garden at the front of its educational garden to help minimize water pollution. The garden features low maintenance perennial plants and is expected to help reduce stormwater runoff, recharge ground supplies, increase wildlife habitat and reduce the need to mow. To help cover the costs, the college received a $740 Illinois Rain Garden Initiative grant from the Illinois Conservation Foundation and the Illinois Department of Natural Resources’ Division of Education, in cooperation with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.

Karakoram Int'l U to Save 30% Water with New Irrigation System

Facing an acute shortage of water with depleting reservoirs in the mountainous region, Karakoram International University (Pakistan) has installed a new Pop-Up Sprinkler system that is expected to save up to 30 percent of water. Ninety-five of the new water-efficient sprinklers will irrigate two acres of campus.

Raritan Valley CC Designated 'River-Friendly'

Raritan Valley Community College (NJ) has been awarded the River-Friendly certification by New Jersey Water Supply Authority for its efforts to improve local water resource quality through water quality management, water conservation, protection of wildlife habitat and outreach. The college committed to pursuing River-Friendly certification as part of its environmental stewardship agreement with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. The college has made numerous environmental improvements on campus to achieve River-Friendly certification including the installation of rain gardens, implementing an integrated pest management policy, reducing the campus’ mowed lawn area by 24 percent, training students to conduct assessments on the campus streams, and creating inventories of the campus' 289 species of flora and fauna.

U Georgia to Revive Buried Waterways

The University of Georgia has planned to revive buried waterways on campus after two centuries of construction turned the waterways into part of a 53-mile network of underground drain pipes. University planners have begun working to partially restore the creeks and improve the purity of the water in the streams. The university is also developing projects designed to reduce pollution flowing into the stream system.

U Louisville Tapped for Water-Efficient Landscaping Renovations

As part of its green infrastructure program to reduce sewage overflows from sewers, Metropolitan Sewer District (MSD) has announced a $1.5 million campus landscaping renovation at the University of Louisville (KY). Renovations will include vegetated roofs, parking lots renovated to funnel water into gravel-filled pits, a rain garden and porous brick surfacing. The projects are intended to prevent millions of dollars in flood damage and serve as an example for similar projects across the city.

Ball State U Adds Green Roof Atop Geothermal Station

Ball State University (IN) has installed about 7,000 square-feet of GreenGrid, a modular and maintenance-free plant system, on the roof of its North District Energy Station. The green roof features pallets that are made of 60 percent recycled plastic and filled with low-growing vegetation. The installation will help insulate the building and reduce the amount of rainwater that flows into the storm sewer system. The university hopes to incorporate green roofs into its strategic construction plan.

Albany State U to Revamp Water Conservation Program

Albany State University (GA) has announced plans to upgrade its water conservation program. The program was first implemented in 2007 during the last major statewide drought. It helped reduce water use on campus by 23 percent, but campus leaders are putting a renewed focus on conservation. The university has stopped washing all vehicles and will discontinue the watering of lawns.

Palm Beach Atlantic U Receives Water Monitoring System

An underground soil moisture monitoring system has been donated to Palm Beach Atlantic University (FL). The university will use the system to measure and help reduce its water usage for irrigation purposes on campus. The system measures soil moisture at the root level and transmits data wirelessly to a base station that works with the existing irrigation clock to prevent over-watering. The moisture sensors and base units are expected to save as many as 2.5 million gallons of water a year.

U Mass Medical School Installs Gray Water Pipeline

The University of Massachusetts Medical School has announced the installation of a gray water pipeline to reduce the amount of fresh water the campus power plant uses while generating steam, electricity and chilled water. The 12-inch pipeline will connect the power plant to a drainage system within the university's planned Albert Sherman Center that will capture rainwater from the building's roof and water that condenses around the building's air conditioning systems.

U Texas Arlington to Install 1,500 Low-Flow Showerheads

The University of Texas at Arlington has received 1,500 low-flow shower heads from the City of Arlington as part of an ongoing effort to promote water conservation and sustainable practices. The shower heads will be installed in residence halls and other student housing locations during the summer. The university expects to save 14.2 million gallons of water each year, saving more than $100,000 a year in water, sewer and natural gas fees.

George Washington U Announces Water Sustainability Plan

George Washington University (DC) has announced a new campus water footprint and sustainability strategy that addresses potable water, rainfall capture, waste water and bottled water. The university plans to reduce its bottled water direct expenditures by 50 percent over the next five years, increase its permeable space by 10 percent in 10 years and decrease campus water consumption by 25 percent in 10 years.

U California Berkeley Unveils Water Conservation Goal

At its recent Annual Sustainability Summit, the University of California, Berkeley's chancellor announced a water conservation goal to reduce campus use of potable water to 10 percent below 2008 levels by 2020. The university uses more than 600 million gallons of potable water annually, mostly for water faucets, toilets, showers and other domestic purposes on the main campus and in the student-residence halls. The university plans to meet its goal by upgrading to lower-flow fixtures, repairing leaks, replacing heating equipment and encouraging water conservation. The initiative will require an investment of $1.6 million over five years, with an expected savings of $250,000 a year.

Washington Post Highlights Higher Ed Bottled Water Bans

Rallying against bottled water has become a cause for college environmental groups in the past few years, reports a recent article in The Washington Post. The article addresses the controversial nature of bottled water bans, and gives examples of how colleges are trying to make it easier for students to pick refillable bottles over throwaway ones and educating students about recycling and how their several-bottles-a-day habit quickly piles up in a landfill. Bottled water restriction efforts at the University of Maryland College Park, Washington University in St. Louis (MO), DePauw University (IN) and American University (DC) are among those mentioned.

Delta College Plans Stormwater Mgmt Interpretive Sign System

Delta College (MI) recently received a $10,000 Bay Area Community Foundation grant for the installation of interpretive signage for its Stormwater Management Project. The college has worked to improve its stormwater filtration system by channeling the water from parking lots through wet meadows and drainage ditches for a natural filtration before it enters the rivers and lakes of the region. The interpretive displays will raise awareness about the project and provide a historical perspective of the land from acquisition to its current use. Land stewardship functions will be represented including responsible stormwater management, the use of recycled/reusable materials, and the effect of local actions on the local environment.

U Michigan Reduces Water Consumption by 68%

As a result of a computerized irrigation system installed in 2006, the University of Michigan has announced a 68 percent reduction in campus water consumption. The system plugs into a campus weather station that watches wind speed, rain, temperature and humidity to gauge the best times to irrigate and when irrigation should be shut off. The project initially cost $350,000, and the university has reported a total of $564,000 in water bill savings.

Ball State U Journalism Students Work for Water Conservation

Ball State University’s (IN) journalism students will collaborate with nonprofit Circle of Blue to report on water conservation issues in China, and how climate change is impacting the Great Lakes region. The partnership will provide students with the opportunity to delve into an internationally significant sustainability issue.

Harvard U Students Create Interactive Water Footprint Map

Students at Harvard University (MA) recently won a competition by data visualization community Visualizing.org that challenged the design community to visualize urban water data. The contest was held in honor of the United Nation's International World Water Day in March. The graduate students' "What is Your Water Footprint?" interactive online graphic shows visitors how much water they use based on what country they live in and allows users to see how much water is used to create common consumer beverages and products.