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.
California State U Sacramento Signs Water Consulting Contract
California State University, Sacramento has signed a $300,000 consulting contract with California’s Department of Water Resources to troubleshoot difficulties with the state’s water delivery and conservation measures. The contract stipulates that the university is responsible for providing consulting, research, education and training services to the water resources department.
Montana State U Saves 40,000 Gallons of Water in a Week
A weeklong campaign at Montana State University increased water conservation on campus and produced a savings of 40,000 gallons of water. The events during the campaign included documentaries, presentations and community meetings. The Water Conservation Week focused on four individual consumption habits: shaving a minute off your showers, turning the water off while you brush your teeth, doing larger loads of laundry and not buying bottled water.
U South Florida Sculpture Raises Water Conservation Awareness
The University of South Florida is collaborating with the Southwest Florida Water Management District to initiate a water conservation campaign called “Every Drop Counts!” The first stage of this campaign began with a sculpture installation in the lobby of the Marshall Student Center by a university alumnus who constructed a pyramid of 111 one-gallon jugs. The number correlates to the amount of water used by the average individual in the Tampa Bay, Fla. region.
U Oklahoma Establishes New Water and Sustainability Institute
The University of Oklahoma has announced plans to establish an Institute for Water and Sustainability. Funded by a $2 million gift from Corix, the institute will include the new Oklahoma Water Survey, patterned on the Oklahoma Geological Survey, which is also housed at the university. The institute will also consist of the Water Technologies for Emerging Regions Center and a future program focused on water and sustainability in critical regions. The university plans to begin its search for the institute's leader immediately.
U New Brunswick Students Discover Lead, Iron in Campus Tap Water
The Chronicle of Higher Education recently reported that while students at the University of New Brunswick were trying to prove that tap water was just as safe as bottled water, they found lead and iron levels over the acceptable health limits in water from drinking fountains in two of the older buildings on campus. After letting the water run for two minutes and then five minutes, however, the water levels tested fine. The university is now working with provincial and municipal authorities to resolve the issue. The students, who now recommend letting the fountain water run for at least two minutes, are asking that the university replace the fountains with hydration stations for filling reusable water bottles. The stations are similar to $6,000 models that the university has placed on other parts of campus and is monitoring for usage.
Emory U Debuts Campus Water Reduction Competition
Emory University (GA) has tallied the results of its annual campus energy reduction competition that featured a new water reduction category this year. As a result of the competition between research, residential and other campus buildings, the university saved more than 54,000 gallons of water and experienced a $30,500 drop in utility costs during the month of October. Sponsored by the Office of Sustainability Initiatives, winning buildings will receive $1,000 toward a sustainability-related building improvement.
NY Times Highlights Campus Efforts to Ban Bottled Water
Campus campaigns to curb bottled water consumption have been hindered by contracts with beverage suppliers, says a recent article in The New York Times that highlights student efforts to ban bottled water at higher education institutions. The University of Wisconsin, Stevens Point and Seattle University are featured for their plans for a campus-wide ban on bottled water beginning fall 2011. Washington University in St. Louis started the movement last year.
U Wisconsin-Whitewater Creates Water Council
In an effort to create student awareness of the opportunities in water conservation and business, the University of Wisconsin-Whitewater has formed the Water Council in collaboration with the Milwaukee Water Council. The organization plans to host a series of lectures, conferences and films to increase the awareness of water conservation and hopes to serve as a mentor to other university institutions in promoting water conservation.
U California Santa Barbara Installs Sustainable Water System
The University of California, Santa Barbara has installed a portable sustainable water system. The system converts humidity into fresh water. The portable machine captures moisture from the air, then condenses, filters and stores the byproduct. Campus sustainability coordinators anticipate that the machine can significantly reduce the university’s carbon footprint over time.
Study: Habit, Availability Spurs New York U Bottled Water Use
A study by a New York University Ph.D. student found that habit, campus availability and aesthetics (taste and clarity) motivates bottled water consumption at the university. The qualitative research study, funded by the university's Green Grant program, concluded that the university consumes the equivalent of one million bottles of water a month. The research was conducted to provide an academic foundation and basis for the culture of water consumption and quality of water on campus.
U Maryland Reduces Campus Stormwater Runoff Pollution
The University of Maryland has begun efforts to reduce the amount of stormwater runoff pollution on campus. The stormwater that runs through the university ultimately makes its way to a nearby river. To help the problem, the university has built a brick pad at the most-used bus stop with pavers far enough apart that water can trickle through instead of running off. Funded by Prince George’s County and the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation, the university also plans to build three stormwater treatment facilities on campus as part of a larger project for nutrient and sediment removal from stormwater.
U Utah Students Install Rain Gardens
Graduate students at the University of Utah have installed multiple rain gardens as a solution for water treatment and conservation. The 1,500-square-foot rain gardens are designed to treat polluted stormwater from nearby roadways and parking lots. The strategy will conserve water and keep many pollutants from entering the storm drainage and a nearby creek. The project uses native plants to filter pollutants and release clean water back into the ground.
U New Hampshire Installs Low-Flow Plumbing in Residence Halls
The University of New Hampshire has installed low-flow toilet valves, showerheads and sink faucets in three residence halls. In 2009, the three dorms used an estimated 21 million gallons. With the new plumbing, the university expects to save more than five million gallons of water a year.
U Maryland Develops Bio-Filtration System
The University of Maryland has developed a bio-filtration system to reduce urban runoff pollution in the Anacostia watershed and the Chesapeake Bay. University researchers have re-engineered rain gardens to improve the removal of phosphorous, nitrogen and other prime urban pollutants from runoff. With a $600,000 grant from the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation and the Prince George's County Government, researchers will conduct a three-part demonstration project near parking lots on campus.
U San Francisco Upgrades Water Fountains
The University of San Francisco (CA) has upgraded existing water fountains to make it easier to fill up a reusable bottle. The upgrades come as the result of a three-year campaign by the student-led university Green Team to get the campus to stop selling single-use water bottles. To prepare for the lack of bottled water for purchase, the university has purchased kits to that will convert existing fountains and add a second spout to allow for easy filling.