Water Conservation at CSUMB

California has been in a severe drought for over five years. California State University, Monterey Bay (CSUMB) has been doing its part to conserve water through operational improvements as well as by educating students, staff, and faculty on ways that they can help save water.

In the past three years CSUMB has used a combination of infrastructure changes and outreach campaigns to reduce our water usage on campus. On average, we have reduced our water usage by 20% in buildings with and without retrofits. Over the summer, facilities brought the rest of our Residence Halls up to date with the latest retrofits. Toilets must be 1.6 gallons-per-flush in the restrooms on campus and in campus housing.

The below graphs show how our infrastructural and behavioural 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!

Water Usage in Resident Halls

The charts below 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.

Water Usage Chart

Other Ways the Campus Has Reduced Water:

  • At the Dining Commons you may have noticed trayless dining, which saves water and energy from washing unneeded dishes.
  • Hydration stations are also placed around campus. Reusable water bottles not only save water as many plastic bottles are thrown out before they are empty, also prevents petroleum fracking which poisons our limited water supply.
  • Drought tolerant plants are planted near the buildings of CSUMB to improve the school's atmosphere.
  • Most irrigation has been stopped on campus. As you can see below, we’ve reduced water usage by more than 40% by stopping most irrigation on campus.

Ways you can help:

  • Play your favorite three minute song before your shower. Turn off the water when the song is done.
  • If it’s yellow, let it mellow. If it’s brown, flush it down.
  • Rinse dishes under slow running tap water, and turn off water between dishes.
  • If you live in East Campus or off campus, make sure that you’re doing full loads of dishes and laundry.
  • Your jeans are not made to be washed all the time, most jeans can be worn a minimum of 10 wears before washing.
  • Collect water from rinsing vegetables to water household plants or to use for cooking.
  • What else can you think of?