Overall Rating Gold - expired
Overall Score 73.41
Liaison Jillian Leach
Submission Date Feb. 28, 2018
Executive Letter Download

STARS v2.1

California State University, Chico
OP-22: Water Use

Status Score Responsible Party
Complete 2.18 / 5.00 Jason Whiteley
Assistant Chief Engineer
Facilities Management & Services
"---" indicates that no data was submitted for this field

Level of ”Physical Risk QUANTITY” for the institution’s main campus as indicated by the World Resources Institute’s Aqueduct Water Risk Atlas:
Medium to High

Total water use (potable and non-potable combined):
Performance Year Baseline Year
Total water use --- 75,752,361 Gallons

Potable water use:
Performance Year Baseline Year
Potable water use 55,094,030 Gallons 66,245,285.80 Gallons

Start and end dates of the performance year and baseline year (or three-year periods):
Start Date End Date
Performance Year Jan. 1, 2017 Jan. 1, 2018
Baseline Year Jan. 1, 2015 Jan. 1, 2016

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

Consistent reported data set with performance year.

Figures needed to determine "Weighted Campus Users":
Performance Year Baseline Year
Number of students resident on-site 2,261 2,261
Number of employees resident on-site 71 70
Number of other individuals resident on-site and/or staffed hospital beds 0 0
Total full-time equivalent student enrollment 16,335 15,835
Full-time equivalent of employees (staff + faculty) 1,548 1,457
Full-time equivalent of students enrolled exclusively in distance education 0 0
Weighted campus users 13,995.25 13,551.75

Potable water use per weighted campus user:
Performance Year Baseline Year
Potable water use per weighted campus user 3,936.62 Gallons 4,888.32 Gallons

Percentage reduction in potable water use per weighted campus user from baseline:

Gross floor area of building space:
Performance Year Baseline Year
Gross floor area 3,134,598 Gross square feet 3,026,910 Gross square feet

Potable water use per unit of floor area:
Performance Year Baseline Year
Potable water use per unit of floor area 17.58 Gallons per square foot 21.89 Gallons per square foot

Percentage reduction in potable water use per unit of floor area from baseline:

Does the institution wish to pursue Part 3 of this credit? (reductions in total water use per acre/hectare of vegetated grounds):

Area of vegetated grounds:
Performance Year Baseline Year
Vegetated grounds 87 Acres 87 Acres

Total water use (potable + non-potable) per unit of vegetated grounds:
Performance Year Baseline Year
Total water use per unit of vegetated grounds 0 Gallons per acre 870,716.79 Gallons per acre

Percentage reduction in total water use per unit of vegetated grounds from baseline:

A brief description of the institution's water-related behavior change initiatives, e.g. initiatives to shift individual attitudes and practices such as signage and competitions:

During the 2012-2015 CA drought Facilities Management and Services at CSU, Chico undertook a large-scale water conservation campaign that included converting significant areas of turf to bark and/or drought-resistant native vegetation. Signage promoting the efforts carried the slogan "Brown is the New Green."

A brief description of the institution's water recovery and reuse initiatives:

In recent months, a collection of innovative, water-wise efforts has been launched to ensure the campus maintains its distinctive, leafy grandeur while staying true to the University’s commitment to sustainability.

The landscape redesign started in earnest last summer, following government-mandated water reductions that led officials to turn off the tap to acres of plant life. Shutting down spigots left much of the landscape ailing, particularly the expansive lawns and tender roses and azaleas—all big-time water guzzlers.


Rain runoff is directed to the bioswale from the Student Services Center (SSC) roof, the Meriam Library south plaza, and courtyard between the buildings. The feature holds the water for several hours until it percolates through the soil into a storm drain or can be stored in a cistern for future use. Vegetation and rocks help filter out silt, pollutants, and other debris.

The SSC bioswale was such a success, another was added at Yolo Hall this fall. There, FMS installed the campus’ first super-efficient, sub-surface irrigation system that uses less water to maintain a downsized lawn

A brief description of the institution's initiatives to replace plumbing fixtures, fittings, appliances, equipment, and systems with water-efficient alternatives (e.g. building retrofits):

Facilities Management and Services (FMS) completed 12,730 maintenance and event work orders in the 2016–2017 fiscal year alone. It has been a time of major campus improvements.

Every Drop Counts:

Water conscious plumbing fixtures were installed throughout campus saving approximately 400,000 gallons per year.

The website URL where information about the programs or initiatives is available:
Additional documentation to support the submission:

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.