2014 Water Conservation
Water scarcity is a reality in our state, especially in Southern California where we receive water from Northern California or the Colorado River. On January 17, 2014, total rainfall in the state was the lowest in its 163-year history and a drought emergency was declared.
The University of Redlands has been and continues to be engaged in water-conservation efforts as part of the institution’s long-standing commitment to preserving resources. Our ongoing water conservation measures, and those recently implemented in response to the state’s drought emergency, include:
- Use of only non-potable water for irrigation on campus. Please be aware that use of non-potable (e.g., not approved by appropriate authorities as being safe for consumption) water is one in a list of exclusions from the water restrictions.
- Removal of turf under trees and replacement of the grass with mulch. This reduces irrigation demand and reduces evaporation around our trees. This too is an ongoing process.
- In 2013, shower heads in all residence halls were changed to low-flow shower heads which saves approximately 5 gallons of water per minute.
- In 2013, more than 2 acres of turf at the football practice field were eliminated and replaced with synthetic turf that no longer requires irrigation.
- In 2012, all laundry machines in residence halls on campus were upgraded to high-efficiency machines which reduce use of water by 18 gallons per load.
- Overhead spray irrigation has been transitioned to more-effective and less-wasteful drip irrigation systems. This is an ongoing transition as we change landscape practices on campus to be more water wise. This has resulted in a 30-percent reduction in irrigation water usage over the last 4 years.
- Aerators are installed on all faucets on campus.
In response to the state drought emergency, additional measures to be implemented include:
- Alteration of campus watering schedules. The campus is irrigated by non-potable water. However, Facilities Management is currently working on limiting watering schedules of campus landscape and will be attempting to follow City of Redlands recommendations for watering cycles, in particular:
- Eliminate watering between noon – 8 p.m.
- Reduce watering wherever possible.
- Limiting the operation hours and conditions of the Hunsaker Fountain. Previously the Hunsaker Fountain was operated 24 hours, 7 days a week, except during rain or severe wind events. Though the fountain is operated using recirculated, non-potable water, its operation does lead to unnecessary evaporation. The University will further reduce water use by limiting run-time to special events or specific times of the day when it is more likely to be enjoyed by the campus community.
- Reducing fall campus over-seeding. Typically the campus lawns are re-seeded each fall with rye grass so lawns are green year-round. This year, the University will limit over-seeding, reducing water needed for this process and for watering lawns during the winter months.
- Creating a leak-alert system for reporting water leaks. Facilities Management will create and publicize a streamlined system for reporting water leaks, which can be a significant source of wasted water. By educating the community, we can encourage leak reporting and streamline it so the community can just text or call in to report. Facilities will prioritize those calls over other routine maintenance calls to ensure that leaks are stopped as soon as possible.
- Conducting a water conservation campaign on campus. Personal behaviors contribute greatly to water waste. An education campaign will be launched to encourage the campus community to conserve water. Specifically, campus residents will be encouraged to:
- Limit showers to 7-10 minutes
- Reduce water run times during shaving, teeth brushing, hand washing, dish washing, etc.
- Operate full loads when using laundry and dish washing machines