Ongoing Water Conservation Efforts

The University of Redlands is actively engaged in water conservation:

  • The University uses only non-potable water for irrigation.
  • Faucet aerators, which limit water flow, are installed on all campus faucets.
  • In 2012, all laundry machines in residence halls were upgraded to high efficiency models, which use 18 gallons of water less per load.
  • In 2013, all residence hall shower heads were changed to low-flow models, saving approximately five gallons per minute.
  • Overhead spray irrigation continues to be transitioned to more efficient drip irrigation. So far, these efforts have resulted in a 30 percent annual reduction in irrigation water usage.
  • In fiscal year 2015-16, the University was successful in reducing more than 6,000,000 gallons of domestic water use by diverting non-potable water to the cooling towers located in the Energy Center.
  • The University continues to remove turf under trees, replacing the grass with mulch.
    This reduces irrigation demand, as well as evaporation around trees; more than 10 acres of turf have been removed from campus since 2012.
  • The University has begun to limit the hours and conditions in which the Hunsaker Fountain operates to reduce water loss through evaporation; similarly, watering schedules are being adjusted to minimize watering, especially between noon and 8 p.m.
  • Fall campus grass “overseeding” (spreading grass seed over the existing lawn) is being reduced.
  • The University is moving forward with a water conservation campaign to encourage campus residents to: limit showers to 7 to 10 minutes; reduce water run times during shaving, tooth brushing, hand washing, dish washing, etc.; and operate full loads of laundry and dish washing machines.

Frequently Asked Questions

If we are limiting our watering, why do I see the quad sprinklers running during the day in the fall?

During the Fall term, we typically plant winter rye grass on campus (although to a limited degree during drought conditions). Planting new seed requires an unusually high amount of water to ensure proper seed germination. This is a short-term process that occurs each fall for two to four weeks depending on seasonal conditions.

I have noticed several sprinkler heads that are watering the sidewalk. What is the University doing to stop this?

The University consists of 160 acres of landscape. We have two full-time irrigators who are constantly making repairs, programming systems and helping to identify where water can be reduced, whether through scheduling or alternative systems such as drip irrigation. If you identify an area where a sprinkler head is misaligned, please report it to Facilities Management at  Ext. 8020.

Why is the fountain on Colton Avenue impacted by drought restrictions?

Although the fountain uses non-potable water, it has a high rate of evaporation. In an effort to be a good steward of our water resources, the University has decided to limit fountain run times during drought conditions.

Doesn’t the University have to use a certain amount of water as part of its water allocation?

No, the University’s shares of Lugonia Water Company, which supplies non-potable water to a reservoir for campus irrigation, allow for a maximum water allocation each year. There is no penalty for using less than our water allocation; in fact, we have done so for the last several years.