Overall Rating Gold
Overall Score 68.20
Liaison Kimberly Williams
Submission Date March 5, 2020

STARS v2.2

George Washington University
OP-21: Water Use

Status Score Responsible Party
Complete 4.27 / 5.00 Janine Helwig
Environmental Management Engineer
Facilities 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 Aqueduct Water Risk Atlas:
Medium to High

Total water withdrawal (potable and non-potable combined):
Performance Year Baseline Year
Total water withdrawal 239,641,454 Gallons 286,280,866 Gallons

Potable water use:
Performance Year Baseline Year
Potable water use 239,641,454 Gallons 286,280,866 Gallons

Start and end dates of the performance year and baseline year (or three-year periods):
Start Date End Date
Performance Period July 1, 2018 June 30, 2019
Baseline Period July 1, 2007 June 30, 2008

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

FY2008 was the year used as the baseline when GW established its GWater Plan and water conservation goals.


Figures needed to determine "Weighted Campus Users":
Performance Year Baseline Year
Number of students resident on-site 7,477 6,866
Number of employees resident on-site 37 24
Number of other individuals resident on-site 0 0
Total full-time equivalent student enrollment 22,123 20,108
Full-time equivalent of employees 5,902 5,319.50
Full-time equivalent of students enrolled exclusively in distance education 2,084 871
Weighted campus users 21,334.25 20,139.88

Potable water use per weighted campus user:
Performance Year Baseline Year
Potable water use per weighted campus user 11,232.71 Gallons 14,214.63 Gallons

Percentage reduction in potable water use per weighted campus user from baseline:
20.98

Gross floor area of building space:
Performance Year Baseline Year
Gross floor area 8,711,724 Gross Square Feet 7,315,674 Gross Square Feet

Potable water use per unit of floor area:
Performance Year Baseline Year
Potable water use per unit of floor area 27.51 Gallons / GSF 39.13 Gallons / GSF

Percentage reduction in potable water use per unit of floor area from baseline:
29.71

Area of vegetated grounds:
Performance Year Baseline Year
Vegetated grounds 196 Acres 173 Acres

Total water withdrawal per unit of vegetated grounds:
Performance Year Baseline Year
Total water withdrawal per unit of vegetated grounds 1,222,660.48 Gallons / Acre 1,654,802.69 Gallons / Acre

Percentage reduction in total water withdrawal per unit of vegetated grounds from baseline:
26.11

A brief description of the institution's water-related behavior change initiatives:

Since FY09, GW conducts an annual competition between residence halls to reduce their electric & water consumption called Eco-Challenge. Each building involved housed student "Eco-Reps" who encourage their fellow residents to participate in person and through flyers/events, with significant prizes for the winning halls.


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

The university has a GWater Plan that addresses water conservation through the design, management and use of GW’s campus water infrastructure, as well as through education and research – where the university has an even broader reach.

This is one of the most comprehensive plans for water sustainability issued by an American university, with eight clear goals and targets spanning across four major focus areas: potable water, rainfall capture, wastewater and bottled water. The plan is structured around the concept of GW being a responsible member of whole watersheds. The purpose of the plan is to improve GW’s direct water footprint within the Potomac and Chesapeake Watersheds, and its indirect water footprint in other watersheds.

Goals 2 and 3 of the GWater plan specifically relate to water recovery and reuse initiatives. Goal 2 states the following: Use GW campuses as test beds for new water reclamation technologies to reduce potable water consumption with a target of reusing all retained stormwater for gray water systems, cooling towers, and irrigation by 2021. Goal 3 states the following: Capture rainwater that falls on GW campuses: zero run-off.

In addition, new construction and major renovations at the University are designed to achieve LEED certification standards to the greatest extent possible. This includes low-flow plumbing fixtures as determined by local codes or GW standards, whichever are more stringent for aerators, toilets, urinals, showers, and faucets. It also includes the inclusion of cisterns and the consideration of low-sloped roofs for stormwater retention so that captured rainwater may be reused on-site for toilet flushing or irrigation.

Additional university initiatives to conserve and/or reuse water include the following: planting native species for landscaping to reduce irrigation requirements, recovering steam condensate from steam-boiler systems for reuse, monitoring water consumption from billing to immediately identify occurrences of high usage, and providing education and increasing awareness to university faculty, staff, and students on conserving water.

Newer buildings constructed and/or renovated are increasingly required to meet stringent stormwater retention requirements in DC. In particular, the following green roofs and rainwater harvesting systems were integrated into recent construction since 2010:

- A 1,596 sf green roof located at the Elliott School and Residence Hall.

- Development of a certified LEED Sustainable Site located at Square 80, which was previously an impervious parking lot and converted into a green space. This site was designed to collect up to 33,900 gallons of rain water that can be stored in underground cisterns or an aboveground rain barrel to hep irrigate the green space as well as provide water for a fountain feature. Other LID practices were integrated into the design of the Square 80 Plaza, including pervious paving, biofiltration planters, and bioswales.

- A 2,388 sf green roof located at Ames Hall.

- A 1,171 sf green roof, 6,000-gallon rainwater harvesting system for irrigation, and 16,500-gallon detention tank located at the Law Learning Center.

- A 5,860 sf green roof and 8,796-gallon rainwater harvesting system for reuse in toilets throughout the building at the Milken Institute School of Public Health.

- Two green roofs totaling 10,285 sf and a 42,636-gallon rainwater harvesting system for reuse in toilets throughout the building at Science and Engineering Hall.

- Three green roofs totaling 12,548 sf and a 5,924-gallon rainwater harvesting system for reuse in toilets of the B1 and B2 levels at District House.

There are also currently a total of seven (7) rain barrels that are currently utilized in multiple garden spaces on the Foggy Bottom Campus. One of these spaces includes the GroW Garden, where an innovative rainwater harvesting system for the collection of up to 200 gallons of water was installed in 2016 to use towards irrigating the community garden.


A brief description of the institution's initiatives to replace plumbing fixtures, fittings, appliances, equipment, and systems with water-efficient alternatives:

Since August 2015, high GPF toilets have been replaced or rebuilt (to reduce water usage), along with aerators & lower flow showerheads. These water efficiency efforts were part of GW's Eco-Building Program, and have been expanded to approximately 40 buildings on campus (including nearly every residence hall).


Website URL where information about the institution’s water conservation and efficiency efforts is available:
Additional documentation to support the submission:
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