Overall Rating Gold
Overall Score 74.49
Liaison Mary Easterling
Submission Date Dec. 17, 2020

STARS v2.2

Pennsylvania State University
OP-21: Water Use

Status Score Responsible Party
Complete 4.61 / 5.00 Shelley McKeague
Environmental Compliance Specialist
Engineering 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 845,193,785 Gallons 986,745,387 Gallons

Potable water use:
Performance Year Baseline Year
Potable water use 674,838,841 Gallons 896,785,700 Gallons

Start and end dates of the performance year and baseline year (or three-year periods):
Start Date End Date
Performance Period Jan. 1, 2019 Dec. 31, 2019
Baseline Period Jan. 1, 2005 Dec. 31, 2005

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

FY 05/06 was adopted as the baseline for the majority of sections to be consistent with previous STARS reporting. For Water Use, data is reported by Calendar year to be consistent with regulatory reporting.


Figures needed to determine "Weighted Campus Users":
Performance Year Baseline Year
Number of students resident on-site 14,180 13,795
Number of employees resident on-site 0 0
Number of other individuals resident on-site 0 0
Total full-time equivalent student enrollment 45,798 39,043
Full-time equivalent of employees 15,265 14,183
Full-time equivalent of students enrolled exclusively in distance education 0 0
Weighted campus users 49,342.25 43,368.25

Potable water use per weighted campus user:
Performance Year Baseline Year
Potable water use per weighted campus user 13,676.69 Gallons 20,678.39 Gallons

Percentage reduction in potable water use per weighted campus user from baseline:
33.86

Gross floor area of building space:
Performance Year Baseline Year
Gross floor area 21,862,762 Gross Square Feet 18,577,348 Gross Square Feet

Potable water use per unit of floor area:
Performance Year Baseline Year
Potable water use per unit of floor area 30.87 Gallons / GSF 48.27 Gallons / GSF

Percentage reduction in potable water use per unit of floor area from baseline:
36.06

Area of vegetated grounds:
Performance Year Baseline Year
Vegetated grounds 7,724 Acres 6,939 Acres

Total water withdrawal per unit of vegetated grounds:
Performance Year Baseline Year
Total water withdrawal per unit of vegetated grounds 109,424.36 Gallons / Acre 142,202.82 Gallons / Acre

Percentage reduction in total water withdrawal per unit of vegetated grounds from baseline:
23.05

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

The monthly AIR sustainability e-newsletter for Green Team members and others includes occasional tips on water conservation among its topics. In addition, the Green Paws office certification program includes water-related behavior change measures in Levels 1 and 4.


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

Penn State has masterplanned a Campus Reuse System for University Park that could reduce groundwater withdrawals by 300,000 to 500,000 GPD. It has started to install the distribution piping system one pipe section at a time as opportunities present themselves. And it is designing the interior plumbing systems of selected building projects for ease of reuse connection in the future. In summary, 28,000 feet of future reuse piping has been installed, over 5 miles, over the past 13 years.


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

Retrofits that include high efficiency pluming fixtures and fittings are part of the Energy Program. Projects have been implemented at various locations on campus including many residence halls.


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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Vegetative grounds acreage derived from total campus acreage minus calculated impervious surface (using GIS).

Total water use comes from annual water withdrawal report. Potable water use comes from metered use.

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.