Overall Rating Gold - expired
Overall Score 68.35
Liaison Alexis Reyes
Submission Date Oct. 29, 2015
Executive Letter Download

STARS v2.0

Pomona College
OP-26: Water Use

Status Score Responsible Party
Complete 1.86 / 5.00 Jennifer Schmidt
SIO Staff
Sustainability Integration Office
"---" indicates that no data was submitted for this field

Level of water risk for the institution’s main campus:

Total water use (potable and non-potable combined)::
Performance Year Baseline Year
Total water use 422,151.50 Cubic Metres 398,245.11 Cubic Metres

Potable water use::
Performance Year Baseline Year
Potable water use 422,151.50 Cubic Metres 398,245.11 Cubic Metres

Figures needed to determine "Weighted Campus Users"::
Performance Year Baseline Year
Number of residential students 1,488 1,370
Number of residential employees 19 11
Number of in-patient hospital beds 0 0
Full-time equivalent enrollment 1,584 1,532
Full-time equivalent of employees 700 547
Full-time equivalent of distance education students 0 0

Gross floor area of building space::
Performance Year Baseline Year
Gross floor area 134,758.22 Square Metres 152,756.41 Square Metres

Area of vegetated grounds::
Performance Year Baseline Year
Vegetated grounds 33.18 Hectares 17.12 Hectares

Start and end dates of the performance year and baseline year (or three-year periods):
Start Date End Date
Performance Year July 1, 2013 June 30, 2014
Baseline Year July 1, 2005 June 30, 2006

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

05-06 has been used as our baseline for several years now because it was one of the first years for which water usage was tracked, and other credits use it for a baseline.

Water recycled/reused on campus, performance year:
Cubic Metres

Recycled/reused water withdrawn from off-campus sources, performance year:
Cubic Metres

A brief description of any water recovery and reuse systems employed by the institution:

A greywater/ backwater recapture study is under consideration.

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

Building-level, data-linked, real-time meters with 15-minute interval data on water use are currently installed in all residence halls and dining halls, with plans to expand to all major campus facilities.

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

Efficient toilets and urinals: Currently, almost all toilets on campus are 1.6-gallon, which is the EPA standard for water-efficient fixtures. One-third (22 of 66) urinals on campus are waterless technology. Over 150 toilets on campus are dual-flush technology.
Faucet aerators: Maintenance installs 0.5 gpm aerators on all faucets, ensuring efficiency.
Efficient front-loading washing machines: Almost all washing machines on campus (including Housekeeping's) are water-efficient front-loading machines.

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

pH controllers on cooling towers: In 2013-14, pH controllers were installed on ten cooling towers around campus, with projected savings of 2 million gallons annually.
Drip irrigation systems: Drip irrigation has been systematically installed where appropriate, reducing the use of spray and other sprinkler types on campus. In Summer 2009, Grounds replaced 5,148 sq-ft of spray irrigation with drip irrigation.
Reduced watering schedules Since 2004, the College has significantly reduced the watering schedule for campus landscaping, down to a base for two times per week (aside from athletic turf, which must be watered daily due to different maintenance requirements). Watering occurs more than twice a week when weather or other conditions require it.
Pressure regulation As described in the water section of the audit, high water pressure causes leaks and inaccurate sprinkler aiming, which increases the College's water use. Grounds installed pressure regulators on irrigation equipment in order to reduce water use.

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

The Pomona College Open Space and Landscape Guidelines contain a section on irrigation and water conservation, prescribing the use of the college weather system, drip irrigation, and deep root watering systems wherever feasible. The section on Planting also requires the identification of areas for possible turf removal and replacement by drought-tolerant plantings. The College has already began systematically planting drought-tolerant vegetation and native plants. For instance: in Summer 2009, 1,428 square feet of turf was removed and replaced by drip irrigated plants and 21,179 square feet of shrubs were replaced with mulch. In addition, spray irrigation was switched to drip irrigation in 5,148 square feet of landscaping. (Additional changes have been made more recently, but numbers are not immediately available.)

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

Pomona College utilizes an onsite weather station that provides up-to-date climate information to maximize the application of irrigation water. This data is calculated hourly and sent to the Rainbird "Maxicom" controller daily before the start of each irrigation cycle. The pre-determined watering schedule is then modified according to weather conditions. All watering ceases if the station receives more than one-half inch of rainfall.

A brief description of other water conservation and efficiency strategies employed by the institution:

Buildings such as the Richard C. Seaver Biology Building, the Peter W. Stanley Academic Quad, and designs for the new North Campus Residence Halls and the South Campus Athletic Facility include stormwater redirection, so that it avoids the sewer system and is instead reincorporated into the natural aquifer. Starting in Fall 2010, stormwater runoff near the North Campus Residence Halls was directed into an underground retention basin at the Wash to replenish the aquifer. Additionally, permeable pavement and drainage areas have been constructed on sites such as the Sontag Greek Theater and the new North Campus Residence Halls.

The website URL where information about the institution’s water conservation and efficiency initiatives is available:

Pomona College's master plan calls for the removal of parking from the interior of campus to improve pedestrian access and green areas. Since 2011, three major parking lots have been removed and drought tolerant plants put in their place. This removal of impermeable ground improves the groundwater recharge when it rains, yet does require additional water, particularly to get the native plants established in the first few years. Additionally, Claremont and the rest of California suffer from the drought with only 6 of our usual 13-17 inches of rain falling last fiscal year. This has required additional water in places to keep trees and plants from stressing.

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.