By Natalie Winters/The Signal
California State University, Stanislaus has implemented measures to reduce campus water consumption by nearly five million gallons in 2014.
In early January, California Gov. Jerry Brown (D) issued an emergency drought declaration, urging citizens and requiring state agencies to reduce their water usage by 20 percent.
“No one can predict how long the drought will last and what the state’s water situation will look like in the future,” Melody Maffei, Associate Vice President of Facilities Services, said. “We believe CSU Stanislaus will be in good shape when it comes to water conservation going forward.”
The latest update from the U.S. Drought Monitor lists 22 percent of the state in an exceptional drought classification, the worst designation.
CSU Stanislaus plans to install meters to track water use of individual buildings, lakes and landscaped areas to identify what sections need to be addressed.
“During the 2013 calendar year, the university used nearly 24 million gallons of domestic water,” Maffei said, noting the number includes everything but irrigation. “Our estimated water consumption for 2014 should be 19 million gallons or less.”
For short-term changes, the campus will reduce the amount of water used for irrigation and landscaping, Maffei explained. Running time and height of fountains will also be reduced.
Maffei noted that some lawn and turf around campus will be reduced and replaced with drought-tolerant plants. The elimination of some of the campus’s smaller water features will be considered as well.
The university has put in place an irrigation system that uses reclaimed water from the Reflecting Pond. Other measures include implementing water-conserving fixtures in faucets, toilets, urinals and showers across campus.
“Everyone on campus has a role in helping to conserve water,” Maffei said. “In addition to lessening their own use of water, students and staff can help by notifying Facilities Services if they notice leaky faucets or toilets, sprinkler heads that are broken or any other issue that appears to be leading to wasted water.”
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