Overall Rating Gold
Overall Score 70.76
Liaison Richard Johnson
Submission Date Oct. 13, 2017
Executive Letter Download

STARS v2.1

Rice University
OP-22: Water Use

Status Score Responsible Party
Complete 1.88 / 5.00 Nimi Oyeleye
Summer Intern
Administrative Center for Sustainability and Energy Management
"---" 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 --- 253,520,000 Gallons

Potable water use:
Performance Year Baseline Year
Potable water use 229,816,000 Gallons 253,520,000 Gallons

Start and end dates of the performance year and baseline year (or three-year periods):
Start Date End Date
Performance Year July 1, 2014 June 30, 2015
Baseline Year July 1, 2011 June 30, 2012

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

The 2012 fiscal year (7/1/11-6/30/12) was the baseline in Rice's STARS 2.0 submittal.

Figures needed to determine "Weighted Campus Users":
Performance Year Baseline Year
Number of students resident on-site 2,852 2,815
Number of employees resident on-site 36 71
Number of other individuals resident on-site and/or staffed hospital beds 35 0
Total full-time equivalent student enrollment 6,554.33 6,071.33
Full-time equivalent of employees (staff + faculty) 3,026.67 2,842
Full-time equivalent of students enrolled exclusively in distance education 0 0
Weighted campus users 7,942.75 7,406.50

Potable water use per weighted campus user:
Performance Year Baseline Year
Potable water use per weighted campus user 28,934.06 Gallons 34,229.40 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 5,658,493 Gross Square Feet 5,695,320 Gross Square Feet

Potable water use per unit of floor area:
Performance Year Baseline Year
Potable water use per unit of floor area 40.61 Gallons / GSF 44.51 Gallons / GSF

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 143.09 Acres 142.66 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 / Acre 1,777,092.39 Gallons / 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:

The Rice University EcoReps host an annual Green Dorm Initiative (GDI), a three-week campus-wide competition each spring semester that encourages Rice students to adopt a more sustainable lifestyle. Each day student participants are presented with a new daily challenge, along with background information to explain the environmental benefits of a change in habits related to that challenge. Each week of the competition also features a week-long challenge. Prizes were awarded based on either participation or performance. One of the categories of the 2016 challenges was water and energy.

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

Condensate harvesting: Air conditioning systems provide a constant source of clean, cold water that is well suited for reuse. With the opening of the BioSciences Research Collaborative (BRC) building on July 1, 2009, Rice began capturing condensate water from the air conditioning systems of that building to use as make-up water in the cooling towers of the South Plant. This is a free source of water that Rice would otherwise have to buy from the City of Houston. During the summer of 2011, Rice completed a project to capture condensate water from many of the science buildings to bring back to the Central Plant's cooling towers. Combined, these systems are estimated to save at least 12 million gallons of water per year, which is equivalent to about 5 to 6 percent of Rice's annual water consumption in a typical year. However, since these projects are not metered, we've not attempted to include them in the data for this credit.

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):

There are hundreds of low-flow toilet fixtures on the Rice campus, and the facilities building standards now requires low-flow fixtures for toilets and urinals as well as efficient faucets for sinks. https://facilities.rice.edu/sites/g/files/bxs1011/f/22%2040%2000%20Plumbing%20Fixtures.pdf

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

Baseline year data is from the fall of 2011
Performance year data is from July 1, 2014 to June 30, 2015.
Note: We considered the number of beds to be a proxy for the number of on-campus students. While the number of students living on-campus changes constantly during the year, the number of beds is stable each semester.
Note: In order to calculate the area of vegetated grounds we used the area from the baseline year and added the area of a newly built irrigated lawn.

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.