CSU Channel Islands, under the leadership of the Department of Facilities Services (FS), has taken large strides to achieve a more sustainable campus through water conservation. We have converted to watering the entire campus with recycled water as well as cutting back the amount of water used in these irrigated areas (and converting turf to native and low water plants). By taking this step, we are moving toward the California mandated 32% reduction from 2013 of potable (drinking) water. As of September 2015, we are only down 5% due to the fact that we conserved 29% of potable water in 2008-2010. We obtain our water through Camrosa Water District, which operates a state-of-the-art water treatment and reclamation facility.
Figure 1: Potable water used at CI in 2015 broken down by month.
Figure 2: Recycled water used at CI in 2015 broken down by month.
Water Conservation Tips:
- Don’t put water down the drain when there may be another use for it, like watering plants, flushing your toilet, or cleaning
- Store drinking waterin the refrigerator rather than letting the tap run every time you want a cool glass of water
- Do not use running water for things that could be done with something else like to thaw meat or other frozen foods
- Only wash vehicles when it becomes a safety hazard
Water Conservation Actions at Channel Islands:
Urinals, toilets, and sink aerators have been upgraded or added to minimize water in the restrooms. Over 99% of urinals on campus are already water-free, saving approximately 40,000 gallons of water each year per urinal. Toilets have been upgraded from 3.5 gallons per flush (gpf) to 1.6gpf or 1.28 gpf, depending on the building installed. Aerators have been installed on the inefficient sinks across campus. By engaging in this action, we are reducing the sinks’ flow rate by approximately 50%, thus, saving more water.
Figure 3: These stickers were placed on
bathroom mirrors around campus above faucets
to bring awareness and take action against the drought.
With incentives from Metropolitan Water District, our regional provider, we were given the opportunity to replace the turf in North and South Quads with a “California Friendly Landscape.” The new plants that utilized mulch, instead of dirt, are drought resistant and native to coastal southern California.
Figure 4: Turf conversion located in North Quad
Along with removing parts of grassy areas and replacing them with drought tolerant plants, CI is saving potable water by watering over 99% of the campus with irrigated with reclaimed water. This means that the water used for irrigation is former wastewater that has been treated to remove impurities. This process supports sustainable landscaping, by reducing the potable water that would otherwise be used to irrigate.
Our reclaimed water comes from Camrosa Water District, which operates a state-of-the-art water treatment and reclamation facility.
Figure 5: Recycled water signs
found in irrigated areas.
Potable water costs significantly more than potable water. From January 2010 to December 2015, we saved just over $1 million by simply using recycled water instead of potable water in our irrigation and other areas that were appropriate!