Concerted efforts to reduce water consumption on campus have been ongoing for two decades. On the Charles River Campus, consumption has dropped 31% since 1991. Since 2002, when data became available for the Medical Campus, combined water consumption has dropped by 10%. While progress has certainly been made, there’s still much more work to be done.
Our stellar location in the heart of the city and a few short miles from the Atlantic Ocean has given the Boston University community a particular appreciation for water and the need to conserve it.
We’re continuously working to identify and implement opportunities throughout the campus, from innovative technologies to behavior change. Some of the strategies in place include:
- Rain sensors installed on the 140 irrigation systems across campus
- Drip irrigation systems in all planting beds spanning Commonwealth Avenue
- Self-charging, hands-free sink faucets
- Dual flush and sensor based toilets
- Elimination of dining trays
“I’ve empowered the staff to ensure that they incorporate best practices to conserve water,” says William J. Walter, assistant vice president for Facilities Management & Planning. Staff, he says, are able to implement changes on their own by working within their budgets to purchase items such as energy-saving shower heads, without having to go through time consuming approval channels.
“Everything we do is working toward the ultimate goal of conserving resources and best practices,” says Walter.
- Using 0.5 GPM Lavs and 1.5 GPM Showers
- Testing 1.28/0.8 GPF Toilets and 0.5 & 0.25 GPF Urinals
Technology under discussion includes:
- Creating Gray Water Systems
To help conserve water on campus:
- Report all water leaks and clogs to Facilities Management & Planning
- Limit showers to five minutes or less
- Shut off faucets when brushing your teeth, shaving, and washing dishes
- Operate washing machines and dishwashers only when full and on economy cycle
- Keep a bottle in the refrigerator instead of running the tap water until it’s cold
- Instead of discarding small amounts of water left in drinking glasses, your pet’s bowl, or from cooking, use it to water house plants.
Have a water-saving tip? Contact us so we can add it to our list.
- Water Footprint Calculator
- How Gray Water Reclamation works
- Laws and rules regarding Massachusetts Water, Wastewater, Wetlands, and WaterSense: A partnership program sponsored by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). Its mission is to protect the future of our nation’s water supply by promoting and enhancing the market for water-efficient products and services.
- Water Laws and Regulations such as the Water Management Act, Surface Water Quality Standards, and the Oceans Act of 2008.