Overall Rating Gold
Overall Score 67.16
Liaison Mike Versteege
Submission Date June 24, 2020
Executive Letter Download

STARS v2.1

University of Alberta
OP-22: Water Use

Status Score Responsible Party
Complete 3.00 / 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 1,371,587 Cubic Metres 1,482,326 Cubic Metres

Potable water use:
Performance Year Baseline Year
Potable water use 1,371,587 Cubic Metres 1,482,326 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, 2018 March 31, 2019
Baseline Year April 1, 2005 March 31, 2006

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 and it also aligned with 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 4,419 3,952
Number of employees resident on-site 8 0
Number of other individuals resident on-site and/or staffed hospital beds 744 746
Total full-time equivalent student enrollment 36,713.32 32,326.13
Full-time equivalent of employees (staff + faculty) 9,820.80 8,354.40
Full-time equivalent of students enrolled exclusively in distance education 0 0
Weighted campus users 36,751.34 32,244.40

Potable water use per weighted campus user:
Performance Year Baseline Year
Potable water use per weighted campus user 1,371,587 Cubic Metres 12,144.41 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 1,562,706.25 Gross Square Metres 1,222,130.79 Gross Square Metres

Potable water use per unit of floor area:
Performance Year Baseline Year
Potable water use per unit of floor area 0.88 Cubic Metres / GSM 1.21 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 18,889.78 Cubic Metres / Hectare 20,414.90 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 program is a way to help the university's 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, including energy and water consumption, food, waste, transportation, wellness, social sustainability, purchasing, resource use, and communication.


The Green Labs program includes a number of initiatives designed to help labs operate more sustainably. Current initiatives under this program include Green Spaces Certifications for Labs, a Green Labs Leaders’ Network, an online course to teach lab users about sustainability in labs, and a rebate program for replacing ultra-low temperature freezers with energy efficient models. In the past, the Green Labs program has also funded projects such as swapping out solvent stills to solvent purification systems, which results in water savings.

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

The University of Alberta redirects and recovers water in a number of ways.


- In 2013, an underground cistern was installed on the west side of the Centennial Centre for Interdisciplinary Science (CCIS). The cistern is used to store water collected during fire pump testing. The water is then used in watering trucks to meet some of the university's irrigation needs.
- Augustana Campus has one 1500 gallon underground tank that collects water from the campus’ grass swales, two 250 gallon above ground tanks which collect rain water from the roof of the Facilities Building, and an additional 100 gallon tank which collexts rain water from the Auxiliary Building. The water that is collected is used for irrigation on campus.
- The Campus Community Garden on North Campus collects rainwater in barrels to use for irrigation.
- At the University of Alberta Botanic Garden, water is recycled from ornamental fountains and is used for irrigation or directed to constructed wetlands.


- 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.
- Buffered groundwater control to wetlands is in place at the University of Alberta Botanic Garden.


- 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 using Rosemount Magflow meters. These meters are read monthly.

Innovative and low-flow fixtures are being installed across campus during our rolling deferred maintenance program, as well as during new construction. Examples of fixtures that fit the required standards for our Water Reduction Plan, Watego, 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 TEU1GA22#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:


Michelle Hauer
Program Coordinator
Energy Management and Sustainable Operations
Facilities & Operations

Behn Jang
Program Coordinator
Energy Management and Sustainable Operations
Facilities & Operations

Shannon Leblanc
Program Team Lead
Energy Management and Sustainable Operations
Facilities & Operations

Laurel Roblin
Utility Services Manager
Mechanical Utilities
Facilities & Operations

Gunnar Viberg
Mechanical Engineering Technologist
Engineering & Technical Services
Planning and Project Delivery
Facilities & Operations

Murray Brice
Landscape Maintenance & Construction Supervisor
Grounds Services
Facilities & Operations

Chris Blades
Facilities & Operations Manager
Augustana Campus Facilities & Operations

Tam Connelly
Associate Director
Augustana, Grounds & Environmental Services
Operations & Maintenance
Facilities & Operations

Bill Shaughnessy
Mechanical Trades Supervisor
Maintenance Division
Facilities & Operations

Kenneth Willis
Head of Horticulture
University of Alberta Botanic Garden
Faculty of Agricultural, Life and Environmental Sciences

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 or simply email your inquiry to stars@aashe.org.