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Find out how UC Davis is integrating water efficiency and landscaping on campus.
The April 2014 UC Davis Drought Response Action Plan outlines a set of actions to strive for a 20% reduction in water use from calendar year 2013, during the California drought declared in early 2014.
The State of California maintains an in-depth site of indoor and outdoor water saving tips.
See real-time water use on campus graphed at this water dashboard.
Products and resources for sustainable horticulture in California’s Central Valley.
- 10.6.15 — UC launches Cool Campus Challenge in a push toward carbon neutrality
- 10.1.15 — 9 ways to get your green on!
- 7.15.14 — Drought impact study: California agriculture faces greatest water loss ever seen
- 5.13.14 — Buildings, bikes and even our purple gloves are green
- 4.17.14 — UC Davis takes action: California Drought website, UC Drought Summit April 25, and new campus plan
Take Action: Save Water
- Save water on campus
- Lab practices for saving water
- Save water at your residence
- Choose efficient plants
- Use smart maintenance methods
One important thing you can do to save water while on campus is to report leaks and other water waste. The UC Davis Building Maintenance Services group needs your help in reporting dripping faucets, running toilets, and other leaks. And, our Grounds division also wants to hear your reports of broken irrigation. Report leaks, broken fixtures and irrigation spray heads, and other water waste to Facilities Management by calling (530) 752-1655, filing a work order (the online work order requires a UC Davis login), or emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.
Turn off the water when you aren't directly using it. So, turn the faucet off while you are lathering up, brushing your teeth, soaping up your dirty coffee mug, etc.
Send us your comments, questions, and water conservation ideas to email@example.com.
When you are in your lab, there are several things you can do to save water.
First, be mindful of how you are using high quality water (deionized, reverse osmosis, distilled); use it as sparingly as you can because for every gallon made of these highly processed waters, there is about a quart of "rejected" water sent to the drain. Those quarts add up across all of our labs over the year.
Second, don't "overwash" dishes: If you are using a dishwasher, choose the correct settings for the type of labware you are actually running through, and don't set dishes under a running faucet and walk away. The practice wastes tap or processed water unnecessarily. Set up five wash basins: (1) soap and water; (2) tap water rinse; (3) 2, 5, or 10 percent hydrochloric acid rinse; (4) and (5) two separate deionized water rinse basins. Rewash your plastic wares and save money. This practice has a documented efficacy over an old-style practice of setting labware under running water.
Third, when you are replacing equipment that employs single-pass water cooling, replace it with equipment that uses a closed-loop cooling system, or that can be placed on the campus chilled water loop. Read more about how the UC Davis Chemistry department did this and is saving about 2 million gallons (more than 7.5 million liters) per year of drinking water, in addition to saving money on helium recovery.
Fourth, eliminate vacuum aspirators, and use a vacuum pump for the same task; this can save about 238 gallons (900 liters) of water per hour of use and avoid the possibility of contaminating water with solvent residue.
Fifth, report leaks or any other plumbing issue in the lab. To report, you can call (530) 752-1655, file a work order (the online workorder requires a UC Davis login and password), or email firstname.lastname@example.org. Your lab will save water, eliminate unnecessary leaks, and be a good steward of campus resources.
Send your questions, comments or water conservation ideas to email@example.com.
Whether you are in a dorm on campus, or living off-campus, UC Davis Student Housing and the State of California have some good tips for saving water.
An important component to sustainable landscaping is choosing the right plants. The UC Davis Arboretum recommends 100 reliable perennials, groundcovers, shrubs, vines and trees especially well-suited to California environments. Many of these Arboretum All-Star plants are drought-tolerant, California natives with few pest or disease problems.
UC Verde buffalo grass is another conservation option; it is used on campus and can help you save 75 percent of the water normally needed for your lawn. The grass, developed by UC scientists, is very slow growing so it needs less water and less mowing than other grass varieties.
Reduce your water, energy, and chemical use while maintaining your landscape at home. You can learn about environmentally friendly gardening practices such as using mulch, water-saving irrigation systems, companion plantings, and biological pest control at the UC Davis Arboretum.
Other sustainable landscaping tips:
- Save water by updating your irrigation system: Water less frequently, adjust sprinkler heads to spray the yard only, and switch to drip emitters.
- Reduce air pollution by switching from a gas-powered mower — where emissions in one hour of use can match a car's emissions over 95 miles — to a push reel or electric lawn mower.