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Save Water 

Water is precious, and hot, dry weather and recurring droughts are common in our part of California.

Each interaction with water is an opportunity to mindfully reduce your use, even by a small amount. Save water, and money, too, through your care and attention, including in labs where purified water (deionized, reverse osmosis, distilled) is frequently required. Thank you for saving water! 

The following actions apply on campus, and many of them work at home, too:

  • Report leaks. Our campus is huge and we need everyone’s help watching it. If you find a leak on campus, report it! This includes faucet leaks, broken fixtures, broken irrigation spray heads, or other water waste. 
    • Davis campus Student Housing residence halls and dining commons: Submit an online service request
    • Davis campus students, faculty and staff (to report leaks outside of student housing): Call Facilities Management at (530) 752-1655 (the line is open 24/7), submit an online work order or email them at
    • UC Davis Health students, residents, faculty and staff:  Call Physical Operations & Maintenance at 916-734-2763.
    • Other UC Davis locations, like Bodega or Tahoe or Tulare: Contact your location’s facility manager to report leaks. 


  • Mindfully use water. Whether you brush your teeth at home or at work, turn off the water while brushing. When you wash your coffee mug, water bottle, etc., don't leave the water running while you soap it up. 
    • Don't over-wash labware or dishes.  Run the dishwasher only when full. Choose the correct settings for the items you're running through. 
    • Use soap and rinse basins/tubs instead of running water when handwashing dishes or labware. In the lab, set up a pre-wash basin for dirty dishes to soak in and to rinse out labware before washing. For washing, set up a soap basin, a tap water rinse basin, and then, in lab settings, use progressively purer water basins for final rinses, as needed. 
    • Turn off your autoclave or put it into standby mode. Autoclaves use a lot of water; some up to 2,500 gallons/day. Turning off or putting in standby mode can save up to 70 percent of the water an autoclave typically uses in a day.  


  • Buy water (and energy) efficient equipment. Look for the Energy Star logo or ACT label, and check if the item has water conservation or energy saving features. For water-intensive equipment like autoclaves and dishwashers, this can result in major savings over the operating life of the equipment. 
    • Choose equipment that uses a closed/recirculating cooling system, or that can be placed on the campus chilled water loop, instead of equipment that employs single-pass water cooling. Single-pass water cooling is not allowed without automated and controlled water flow under the UC Sustainable Practices Policy (Section III.I.4)
    • Eliminate vacuum aspirators and use a vacuum pump for the same task. Vacuum pumps save about 238 gallons (900 liters) of water per hour as compared to vacuum aspirators while also mitigating the possibility of contaminating water with solvent residue. 
    • Keep an eye out for dual flushing toilets. Some toilets on campus utilize a dual flushing mechanism. Choose the correct flushing protocol for liquid or solid waste as indicated on the flusher handle.