Sustainability

Water

Water

Laundry to landscape system installed in Pinnacles and features art developed by CSUMB faculty and students

Conserving water protects finite clean water sources, saves resources used in water treatment, and makes the campus more resilient in times of climate crisis or natural disaster. The campus responded well to the most recent drought, which lasted from 2011-2019, and exceeded all water reduction mandates, primarily by reducing irrigation. The goals in this section support lasting reductions.

Achievements

  • Installed low-water plumbing fixtures used to reduce building water use throughout campus.
  • Laundry to Landscape model system installed in Pinnacles Residential Hall, collecting, filtering and irrigating adjacent landscaping with water from 8 washing machines.
  • 26% decrease in potable water use since 2011.
The chart illustrates the building water use over time. From 2013-2014, water use was up to 290 acre ft/year. In 2015-2016, water use decreased to 255 acre ft/year. In 2017-2018, water use further decreased to 245 acre ft/year.
This chart illustrates Irrigation Water Use over time. In 2013-2014, irrigation water use was 120 acre ft/year. In 2015-2016, irrigation water use was 30 acre ft/year. In 2017-2018 irrigation water use was 90 acre ft/year.

CSU Sustainability Policy Goals:

Governor Jerry Brown's announcement to reduce water use across the state of California, due to the current drought, prompted a series of actions by CSUMB.

  • Reduce 10% by 2016.
  • reduce 20% by 2020.
  • Use recycled/reclaim water where possible.
  • The 2013 Climate Action Plan established recommended “Action Steps” for each topic area. Below are the action steps for water:

    WAT1. All new fixtures will be water-saving for new or refurbished buildings, or replacement/repair.Consider: -Short-burst automatic sinks and/or aerators. -Dual-flush toilets and/or waterless urinals. -Low-flow sunflower-type rain showerheads. WAT2. Review draft landscaping and irrigation plan for sustainability: -Include lawn and athletic fields, consider more synthetic turf. -Xeriscaping with native plants, minimize irrigated landscaping. -Facilitate groundwater infiltration. -Retain native vegetation where possible. -Minimize or eliminate toxic pesticides, fertilizers, and other chemicals.

    WAT3. Review drinking water/bottled water systems on campus. -Provide good convenient alternatives to small bottled water sales. -Explore tap water filtration systems in lieu of large bottled water systems, such as Glacier dispensers or Brita filters. -Bring-your-own mugs/glasses campaign. WAT4. Establish an outdoor water use policy for car-washing, power-washing, etc., to avoid water waste. WAT5. Augment on-site water sources -Consider rainwater capture and storage for irrigation. -Re-visit and explore barriers to using existing recycled water pipe infrastructure as planned (purple pipe). Consider new partnerships. -Reduce impervious surface ground coverage on campus with permeable materials and structures.

    • Use non-potable water supply for all non-potable water demands in any new improvement on campus and feasible retrofit.
    • Explore opportunities to meet Net Positive Water for campus.
    • Remain an active partner in discussions and agreements regarding regional, potable, and reclaimed water supply.
    • Explore partnerships and opportunities to show the natural cycle of water and our connection to it.
    • Eliminate the use of water delivery services on campus. Install hydration stations in all buildings and key outdoor areas.
    • Increase native and/or drought-tolerant landscape.
    • Eliminate the use of potable water on landscape.
    • Use non-potable water supply for all non-potable water demands in any new improvement on campus.
    • Reduce potable water use to levels below CalGreen standards in all new construction projects.
    • Percolate all stormwater within the campus boundary.
    • Implement stormwater design guidelines and Low Impact Development for all new building construction and major renovation while enhancing landscape and beautification.
    • Identify the percent of campus water fixtures that meet the highest standard of water conservation and upgrade 10% of fixtures below this standard every year to reach 100% water efficient fixtures.
Water Usage in Resident Halls
The Resident Halls Water Usage graph show how our infrastructural and behavioral changes have affected our water usage on campus. The first chart represents Cypress, Asilomar, Willett, and Manzanita on the left hand side. All which were retrofitted in 2013 with low flow toilets, faucets, and shower heads. On the right side Yarrow, Avocet, Tortuga, and Sanderling were not retrofitted until last summer, yet still saw a decrease of 19% from 2013 until last year. The exciting part about this graph is that both sides saw almost a 20% reduction in water usage with or without the infrastructural updates. However, updating the infrastructure lowered the baseline for the reduction. This means that, despite increase population growth, we have all made behavioral changes that has notably reduced our water usage!
Campus Water Usage
The pie charts also show a reduction in water from shutting off most of the irrigation on campus. As you can see the first chart on the left shows that 52% of our water usage on campus went to irrigation in 2013. In 2014 our irrigation went down to 41%, and last year irrigation was included in “miscellaneous” coming in under 5% of total water usage.

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Peace Love and Short Showers