Overall Rating Gold
Overall Score 65.79
Liaison Katharine Gross
Submission Date Feb. 26, 2021

STARS v2.2

Lehigh University
OP-21: Water Use

Status Score Responsible Party
Complete 1.53 / 4.00 Douglas Spengel
Associate Director Utilities and Engineering
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:
Low to Medium

Total water withdrawal (potable and non-potable combined):
Performance Year Baseline Year
Total water withdrawal 99,074,440 Gallons 114,339,000 Gallons

Potable water use:
Performance Year Baseline Year
Potable water use 99,074,440 Gallons 114,339,000 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 Jan. 1, 2007 Dec. 30, 2007

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

First year of available data.


Figures needed to determine "Weighted Campus Users":
Performance Year Baseline Year
Number of students resident on-site 3,422 4,608
Number of employees resident on-site 0 0
Number of other individuals resident on-site 0 0
Total full-time equivalent student enrollment 6,422 7,577.33
Full-time equivalent of employees 1,819 1,654
Full-time equivalent of students enrolled exclusively in distance education 197.99 234.33
Weighted campus users 6,887.76 7,899.75

Potable water use per weighted campus user:
Performance Year Baseline Year
Potable water use per weighted campus user 14,384.14 Gallons 14,473.75 Gallons

Percentage reduction in potable water use per weighted campus user from baseline:
0.62

Gross floor area of building space:
Performance Year Baseline Year
Gross floor area 4,547,569 Gross Square Feet 4,171,377 Gross Square Feet

Potable water use per unit of floor area:
Performance Year Baseline Year
Potable water use per unit of floor area 21.79 Gallons / GSF 27.41 Gallons / GSF

Percentage reduction in potable water use per unit of floor area from baseline:
20.52

Area of vegetated grounds:
Performance Year Baseline Year
Vegetated grounds 126 Acres 126 Acres

Total water withdrawal per unit of vegetated grounds:
Performance Year Baseline Year
Total water withdrawal per unit of vegetated grounds 786,305.08 Gallons / Acre 907,452.38 Gallons / Acre

Percentage reduction in total water withdrawal per unit of vegetated grounds from baseline:
13.35

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

Eco-Reps work to educate their peers about water conservation and host events throughout the year including competitions to take shorter showers and to use only cold water when doing laundry. Similarly, Lehigh has a faculty-staff peer-to-peer outreach program called the Sustainable Office Program. Through this program, faculty/staff are encouraged to use water reduction signage in all/majority of their certified office spaces. The University staff established water-reduction goals this year to be implemented over the next several years.


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

Unmetered local wells are used in lieu of potable city water for irrigation of most athletic fields. A new building scheduled to open by early 2022 will include a rain water harvesting system to reduce the potable water needed to flush toilets.


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

Low-flow fixtures are used in all new construction and major renovations, and for replacing older fixtures that fail.


Website URL where information about the institution’s water conservation and efficiency efforts is available:
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Additional documentation to support the submission:
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Water use was impacted by COVID-19, therefore data from our previous STARS submission (not data from PRE-5) was used to be representative of a normal year.

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 and complete the Data Inquiry Form.