Overall Rating Gold - expired
Overall Score 69.54
Liaison Mike Versteege
Submission Date June 30, 2017
Executive Letter Download

STARS v2.1

University of Alberta
OP-22: Water Use

Status Score Responsible Party
3.91 / 5.00 Michael Versteege
Manager, Energy Management & Sustainable Operations
Facilities & Operations
"---" 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 1,559,065.51 Cubic Metres 1,867,176.99 Cubic Metres

Potable water use:
Performance Year Baseline Year
Potable water use 1,540,832.11 Cubic Metres 1,845,340.19 Cubic Metres

Start and end dates of the performance year and baseline year (or three-year periods):
Start Date End Date
Performance Year April 1, 2015 March 31, 2016
Baseline Year April 1, 2005 March 31, 2016

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

The baseline was adopted because it aligns with our greenhouse gas reduction goal the Canadian Federal Government's baseline at the time that our goal was set. The University of Alberta recognizes that water, energy, and greenhouse gas emissions are intrinsically linked and that the consumption of water, drives up energy use and greenhouse gas production.

The University of Alberta's GHG inventory follows the Operational Control approach to define its organizational boundary. Operational Control is defined as having full authority to introduce and implement the university’s operating policies. As a result, Enterprise Square, Alberta Health Services run properties, Canadian Blood Services and the Jubilee Auditorium are not included in our inventory because the university does not have operational control of these buildings.

Figures needed to determine "Weighted Campus Users":
Performance Year Baseline Year
Number of students resident on-site 4,678 3,952
Number of employees resident on-site 14 0
Number of other individuals resident on-site and/or staffed hospital beds 519 615
Total full-time equivalent student enrollment 34,693 32,125
Full-time equivalent of employees (staff + faculty) 9,604 8,147
Full-time equivalent of students enrolled exclusively in distance education 0 0
Weighted campus users 34,914.75 31,807

Potable water use per weighted campus user:
Performance Year Baseline Year
Potable water use per weighted campus user 1,540,832.11 Cubic Metres 1,845,340.19 Cubic Metres

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 1,562,125.43 Gross Square Metres 1,264,585.23 Gross Square Metres

Potable water use per unit of floor area:
Performance Year Baseline Year
Potable water use per unit of floor area 24.21 Cubic Metres / GSM 35.81 Cubic Metres / GSM

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 72.61 Hectares 72.61 Hectares

Total water use (potable + non-potable) per unit of vegetated grounds:
Performance Year Baseline Year
Total water use per unit of vegetated grounds 2,295,478.68 Cubic Metres / Hectare 2,749,124.36 Cubic Metres / Hectare

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:

Watego is a campus wide water stewardship program that invests in innovative water technologies, behaviour change, and fixture upgrades. Watego is the first program of its kind in Alberta and as it grows it aims to pave the way for other post-secondary institutions who wish to commit to a sustainable water future for Alberta. This involves installing signage in washrooms with newly fitted low-flow fixtures.

The Green Spaces Certification Program is a way to help the campus community integrate sustainable practices into their work and living spaces. Participants can earn a bronze, silver, or gold certification for their office space, lab, event or living space. Green Spaces has many categories that participants are evaluated on, one of which is water reduction.

Voices of Nature is a one-of-a-kind school program and musical spectacle that inspires elementary students to learn about environmental issues and encourage ecological stewardship among their families and communities. It sends the strong message that we can reduce our collective ecological footprint by promoting environmental sustainability and positive action. The concert theme for 2016 was urban forests and wetlands. Teachers will use curriculum-linked learning resources that connect students with local wild places and what they and their families can do to conserve biodiversity. Their participation will be enhanced by hosting a school-wide recycling drive for items like electronics, beverage containers, and used tires. Previously in 2015, the theme was Water For Life with the aim of inspiring participants to conserve water and learn capacity for stewardship. An hour long television special was produced from this show.

In line with UN World Water Day 2017, the Office of Sustainability hosted a film screening, outreach table and games with a focus on waste water.

This program works with lab occupants to build understanding about opportunities to save water in labs. This includes providing incentives for equipment upgrades such as swapping out solvent stills to solvent purification systems resulting in water savings.

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

The University of Alberta has embraced the capture and reuse of storm water and water recovery for irrigation.

- In 2013, an underground cistern was installed on the west side of the Centennial Centre for Interdisciplinary Science (CCIS) to collect water used in fire pump testing and then use this water for campus irrigation needs.
- Augustana Campus has one 1500 gallon and two 250 gallon underground tanks that collect water from the campus’ grass swales, and the water that is collected is used for irrigation on campus. An additional 100 gallon above ground tank collects rainwater and is used for the campus garden.
- The Medical Isotope and Cyclotron Facility (MICF) on South Campus features a dry pond and an underground tank that collects rainwater, which is then used for irrigation of the surrounding landscape.
- The Campus Community Gardens on both North Campus and Campus Saint-Jean are irrigated with rainwater collected in barrels.

- The Jeanne and Peter Lougheed Performing Arts Centre (CPAC) on Augustana Campus in Camrose was built to redirect run-off to nearby pervious areas.
- A dry pond was installed on the south side of the Agriculture Forestry Building on North Campus to collect rainwater that runs off of the new atrium.

- In Triffo Hall rainwater is collected in a below-grade storage tank system and used for toilet flushing to reduce potable water use

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):

All buildings on North Campus have water metering, and water meters are read monthly. For domestic water, older buildings use Rockwell turbine or compound meters, with new buildings and meter upgrades incorporating Rosemount Magflow meters. Eventually all of the domestic water metering will be upgraded.

Innovative and low-flow fixtures commonly used across campus during our rolling deferred maintenance program and in new construction include:
- Sink: Delta 22C151, 0.5 gpm
- Sink: Sloan EAF-275, 0.5 gpm – light powered, sensor activated electric faucet pre-tempered for hot and cold water operation.
- Urinal: Toto EcoPower® Urinal Flushometer Valve TUE1GA22#CP, 1 gpf or less – hydropower self-generating system, sensor activated urinal flush valve.
- Toilet: Toto EcoPower® Toilet Flushometer Valve TET1GA32#CP, 1.6 gpf or less – hydropower self-generating system, sensor activated toilet flush valve.

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

Additional Responsible Parties:


James Allen
Associate Vice-President
Operations & Maintenance

Bill Shaughnessy
Mechanical Supervisor
Operations & Maintenance

Name: Monica Chahal
Program Lead
Office of Sustainability

Jason Yuzyk
Utilities Data Analyst

Lauren Hall
Sustainability Coordinator
Energy Management and Sustainable Operations


Chris Blades
Facilities & Operations Manager
Augustana Campus Facilities & Operations

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.