More than half of the earth's renewable water resources are already being used by humans. In the US, half of our population depends on rivers and lakes for drinking water. Limited water availability might ultimately put a cap on the earth's carrying capacity for humans.
Water Draft Policy:
The USU Sustainability Council and the Water Committee is committed to recommending, developing, and implementing sustainability programs to ensure water conservation and water quality with specific goals and objectives for the university and its constituents.
Sustainable water use has the following characteristics:
- Conserving water resources.
- Implementing non-polluting practices to protect water resources.
Completed Sustainability Water Projects at USU:
- The elimination of the use of culinary water as a heat sink for refrigeration systems.
- The installation of low water consumption devices in new buildings and those being renovated.
- Movement away from culinary water as an irrigation source.
- Separation of turf and shrub beds to separate watering zones.
- Installation of water smart irrigation systems such as the Rain Bird Maxicom® to irrigate landscapes according to evapotranspiration rates.
Water Committee Goals:
The Water Committee is devoted to implementing the following goals, and will continue to recommend and develop further objectives to support sustainable water use at USU and its sister campuses.
Water Conservation Goals:
- Perform irrigation water audits across campus and sister campuses to increase irrigation efficiency.
- Irrigate landscapes with secondary water sources wherever possible.
- Help develop signage on campus demonstrating water savings, labor savings, and highlighting USU student efforts when applicable.
- Create an interactive map identifying areas on campus saving water (buildings, landscapes, etc.) on the USU Sustainability website.
- Discourage the use of plastic water bottles across campus by providing students with reusable water bottles or mugs in partneriship with the Outreach committee.
- Increase low water use landscaping across campus and sister campuses.
- Encourage and help fund the installation of water meters in buildings and structures without meters.
- Encourage sustainable building designs to implement water savings (composting toilets, etc.) or quality (grey water) techniques.
Water Quality Goals:
- Encourage the USU College of Agriculture to adopt best management practices outlined by the Utah Division of Water Quality.
- Increase the use of organic fertilizers on campus.
- Expand the mission of off-campus agricultural facilities to include non-point source pollution education.
- Protect groundwater and storm runoff by minimizing the use of salt for ice-melting and by implementing an automotive oil recycling program for on-campus students.
- Reduce impervious surfaces or increase the use of permeable pavers or pervious concrete.
- Encourage sustainable building designs to implement water savings (composting toilets, etc.) and improve water quality (grey water) techniques.