Overall Rating Silver - expired
Overall Score 53.62
Liaison Michael Kensler
Submission Date Jan. 11, 2016
Executive Letter Download

STARS v2.0

Auburn University
OP-26: Water Use

Status Score Responsible Party
Complete 2.69 / 3.00 Scott McClure
Energy Engineer
Energy Management
"---" indicates that no data was submitted for this field

Level of water risk for the institution’s main campus:
Low to Medium

Total water use (potable and non-potable combined)::
Performance Year Baseline Year
Total water use 366,597,000 Gallons
+ Date Revised: Jan. 14, 2019
453,768,000 Gallons
+ Date Revised: Jan. 14, 2019

Potable water use::
Performance Year Baseline Year
Potable water use 366,597,000 Gallons
+ Date Revised: Jan. 14, 2019
453,768,000 Gallons
+ Date Revised: Jan. 14, 2019

Figures needed to determine "Weighted Campus Users"::
Performance Year Baseline Year
Number of residential students 4,608 2,670
Number of residential employees 0 0
Number of in-patient hospital beds 0 0
Full-time equivalent enrollment 23,436 22,062
Full-time equivalent of employees 5,039 4,448
Full-time equivalent of distance education students 383 222

Gross floor area of building space::
Performance Year Baseline Year
Gross floor area 11,726,647 Square feet 7,164,521 Square feet

Area of vegetated grounds::
Performance Year Baseline Year
Vegetated grounds 1,463 Acres 1,359 Acres

Start and end dates of the performance year and baseline year (or three-year periods):
Start Date End Date
Performance Year Oct. 1, 2013 Sept. 30, 2014
Baseline Year Oct. 1, 2006 Sept. 30, 2007

A brief description of when and why the water use baseline was adopted:

Fiscal year 2007 serves as the baseline for the university's formally adopted water reduction goals. In addition, it is the first fiscal year where there is a high level of confidence in the quality of the water consumption data.

Water recycled/reused on campus, performance year:
0 Gallons

Recycled/reused water withdrawn from off-campus sources, performance year:
0 Gallons

A brief description of any water recovery and reuse systems employed by the institution:

One 500-gallon and 3 connected 55-gallon cisterns that harvest rainwater from a building roof are currently in place at the Davis Arboretum. The rainwater captured is used to refill the Little Cahaba exhibit or to water plants. In a bog at the arboretum are an underground 1400 gallon tank and a 1700 gallon above ground tank installed in early 2011. Both use water captured from the shed/outdoor classroom roof to operate the water feature and keep the bog hydrated. The underground tank has a pump that is powered by a solar panel; the above ground tank uses gravity. Other cisterns are installed at the AU Raptor Center, and the Architecture Shop Building.

A brief description of any water metering and management systems employed by the institution:

Auburn University is provided water from the City of Auburn from 7 metering points. After these points, the University owns the infrastructure. This includes all of the sub meters for the buildings. In 2013, AU completed an initiative to install an Automatic Meter Reading System that provides hourly readings from every meter on campus. After the first full year of operation, staff were able to identify and fix 48 water-related problems resulting in over 4.75 million gallons of water saved and $33,000 in avoided costs.

A brief description of any building retrofit practices employed by the institution, e.g. to install high efficiency plumbing fixtures and fittings:

Current design standards call for high-efficiency faucets, low-flow showerheads, and where feasible, high-efficiency toliets/urinals.

A brief description of any policies or programs employed by the institution to replace appliances, equipment and systems with water-efficient alternatives:


A brief description of any water-efficient landscape design practices employed by the institution (e.g. xeriscaping):

The AU landscape water management plan, developed and implemented in 2008, includes landscape recommendations for campus related to design, installation, and management of outdoor spaces, as well as landscape water conservation best management practices (BMPs). These BMPs integrate plant selection, plant adaptation, irrigation, cultural and management practices, and a change in the acceptable expectations of plant performance under sub-optimal water conditions.

The first two BMPs are
1) Define and prioritize landscape areas;
2) Coordinate plant selection for all new landscapes and renovations of existing landscapes with irrigation priorities of the area and soil conditions. Plants selection decisions should not depend entirely on water requirements. Whenever possible, plants native to Alabama should be used. Plants should be non-invasive, generally have low maintenance requirements, be free of diseases and pests, adaptable to specific soil and light conditions, and have aesthetic qualities that complement the area and campus as a whole.

A brief description of any weather-informed irrigation technologies employed by the institution:

Currently, 49 acres of campus are irrigated with "smart" irrigation systems through either the 10 systems that irrigated based on soil/rain conditions or the 7 that operate with rain sensors. In addition, the University's Design and Construction Standards now require all future buildings to install "smart" irrigation systems, when irrigation systems are part of the project design.

A brief description of other water conservation and efficiency strategies employed by the institution:

The Office of Sustainability, in partnership with Utilities & Energy and Residence Life, have conducted behavioral outreach efforts in Residence Halls in the form of inter-dormitory energy and water conservation competitions. The Office of Sustainability also offers all employees the opportunity to participate in a Sustainability 101 course, which includes water conversation information.

The website URL where information about the institution’s water conservation and efficiency initiatives is available:

Data source(s) and notes about the submission:

The information presented here is self-reported. While AASHE staff review portions of all STARS reports and institutions are welcome to seek additional forms of review, the data in STARS reports are not verified by AASHE. If you believe any of this information is erroneous or inconsistent with credit criteria, please review the process for inquiring about the information reported by an institution or simply email your inquiry to stars@aashe.org.