Overall Rating Silver - expired
Overall Score 57.92
Liaison Keisha Payson
Submission Date Feb. 25, 2016
Executive Letter Download

STARS v2.0

Bowdoin College
OP-26: Water Use

Status Score Responsible Party
Complete 1.29 / 3.00 Keisha Payson
Sustainability Coordinator
Sustainable Bowdoin
"---" 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 45,317,734 Gallons 49,669,725 Gallons

Potable water use::
Performance Year Baseline Year
Potable water use 45,317,734 Gallons 49,669,725 Gallons

Figures needed to determine "Weighted Campus Users"::
Performance Year Baseline Year
Number of residential students 1,643 1,581
Number of residential employees 32 22
Number of in-patient hospital beds 0 0
Full-time equivalent enrollment 1,791 1,677
Full-time equivalent of employees 894 704
Full-time equivalent of distance education students 0 0

Gross floor area of building space::
Performance Year Baseline Year
Gross floor area 2,041,652 Square Feet 1,968,654 Square Feet

Area of vegetated grounds::
Performance Year Baseline Year
Vegetated grounds 272.62 Acres 272.62 Acres

Start and end dates of the performance year and baseline year (or three-year periods):
Start Date End Date
Performance Year July 1, 2014 June 30, 2015
Baseline Year July 1, 2004 June 30, 2005

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

This is the baseline year we have used throughout all of our STARS reporting during our 2013 submission, and we have made an effort to continue to use it for this most recent submission.


Water recycled/reused on campus, performance year:
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Recycled/reused water withdrawn from off-campus sources, performance year:
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A brief description of any water recovery and reuse systems employed by the institution:

Bowdoin utilizes a rainwater capture system on the roof of two dorms for toilet flushing in those two buildings. The college landscapes with indigenous plants that do not require irrigation. Additionally, surfaces are designed to direct rainwater runoff toward plants and maintain plant health. Bowdoin has several storm water retention ponds, vegetative swales, infiltration galleries, under drained soil filters, and under drained bio-retention cells. The Building Design Standards for Renovation Projects has a section devoted to reduction of stormwater runoff. The last 4 major construction projects have had some LEED certification in which stormwater credits were met.


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

Bowdoin monitors the individual water usage for many of its buildings through data provided by Brunswick and Topsham Water District.The company alerts the college of any unsual spikes in water usage to ensure timely responses to any overuse of water caused by malfunctions in pipes or faucets.


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

The College experimented with waterless urinals for several years but they were not well-received due to blow back pressure issues that Housekeeping staff experienced during filter changes - ultimately the units were removed. In recent years the College has specified minimal flush urinals (0.125 gallons per flush) for all new building projects. As mentioned above, Bowdoin utilizes a rainwater capture system on the roof of two LEED silver certified residence halls for toilet flushing in those two buildings.


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

Since 2009, the college has adopted design strategies and systems to reduce building water use to exceed the requirements of the Energy Policy Act (EPACT) of 1992. The college has since then adopted use of infrared faucet sensors and delayed action shut-off or automatic shut-off valves, use of low flow toilets, use of metering faucets at 0.25 gallons per cycle, use of low-flow kitchen faucets, use of low-flow shower heads, use of domestic dishwashers that use 10 gallons per cycle or less, use of front loading clothes washers that meet EPA ENERGY STAR ® requirements.


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

The campus landscapes with native species that do not require irrigation. However, high visibility grassed areas of campus do receive water during dry weather. In recent years, as a means of conserving water, the college installed a below ground irrigation system on athletic fields at Pickard Field and the Main and Cleaveland Quads. These systems monitor the moisture in the soil and only water accordingly. The systems are automated to operate in the early morning hours before the sun rises to reduce evaporation during the watering cycle. The campus maintains a mowing height of 2.5 to 3 inches, which encourages deeper root growth, thus reducing the need for watering.


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

Bowdoin uses a weather informed irrigation system on the main quad to reduce water use. New controllers on five irrigation systems on campus were installed just three years ago. These new controllers are hooked to moisture sensors located in the ground which read the soil moisture level many times in 24 hrs. This information is used by the controller to either run the program to water the grass or to skip the program because there is adequate soil moisture for the plants to thrive.


A brief description of other water conservation and efficiency strategies employed by the institution:
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The website URL where information about the institution’s water conservation and efficiency initiatives is available:

Bowdoin specifies low flow fixtures in all building projects.

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.