Water Conservation

The campus, region, and State have been severely impacted by the many years of drought in California. Ongoing efforts have been made behind theĀ  scenes on a continuous basis to manage our water use responsibly while maintaining the functionality and aesthetics of the campus. With the help of the President’s Office we will be making more of an effort to tell the story to date of measures and programs in place on campus as well as share the new and additional plans that will be developed from Governor Brown’s Wednesday April 1 announcement.

Some of the ways the University has reduced the use of potable over many years is as follows:
Low flow showers, faucets, and toilets throughout housing
Low flow and dual plumbed urinals and toilets in new construction (do not use potable water)
Replacing lawn with more drought tolerant landscape, including drought tolerant lawn.
Irrigating virtually all landscape with reclaimed water and not potable water
Even with using reclaimed we mulch and take numerous additional steps to minimize irrigation.
Pool covers save the campus 250,000 gallons of potable water per year.

On campus residents are still the largest percentage of potable campus water use. Even though low flow fixtures exist throughout housing personal habits make a big impact. Residents on or off campus should be doing the following:
Five minute showers.
Don’t let water run while brushing teeth or washing dishes.
Dishwashers use less water than hand washing dishes
Only run full loads of laundry

Facilities is part of the campus Executive Sustainability Committee, assisting in completing the Stars Reporting (https://stars.aashe.org/) to allow the campus to establish benchmarks and baselines to compare us with like communities, working with the Chancellors’ Office to identify funding to install and implement more water conserving fixtures and appliances as well as efficiency programs.

Sonoma State University was one of the earliest adopters of using reclaimed sanitary waste water for irrigations, fire suppression, and operating urinals and toilets. With the efforts to date it is important to make distinctions between reclaimed and potable water, to determine what the baseline is or should be for a 25% water reduction, and find solutions that can become the new standard and not just a short term modification.