Overall Rating Platinum
Overall Score 88.59
Liaison Richard Demerjian
Submission Date Aug. 11, 2021

STARS v2.2

University of California, Irvine
OP-21: Water Use

Status Score Responsible Party
Complete 5.55 / 6.00 Richard Demerjian
Assistant Vice Chancellor
Office of Environmental Planning and Sustainability
"---" 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:

Total water withdrawal (potable and non-potable combined):
Performance Year Baseline Year
Total water withdrawal 524,257,732 Gallons 681,073,908 Gallons

Potable water use:
Performance Year Baseline Year
Potable water use 332,084,564 Gallons 470,899,291 Gallons

Start and end dates of the performance year and baseline year (or three-year periods):
Start Date End Date
Performance Period July 1, 2018 June 30, 2019
Baseline Period July 1, 2005 June 30, 2008

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

UC Irvine's water use baseline (3 year average for fiscal years 2005-2008) was established in the UCI 2013 Water Action Plan based on University of California Sustainable Practices Policy guidelines.

Figures needed to determine "Weighted Campus Users":
Performance Year Baseline Year
Number of students resident on-site 9,447 4,596
Number of employees resident on-site 4 0
Number of other individuals resident on-site 0 0
Total full-time equivalent student enrollment 35,535 26,840
Full-time equivalent of employees 8,813 7,380
Full-time equivalent of students enrolled exclusively in distance education 4,594 2,374
Weighted campus users 32,178.25 25,033.50

Potable water use per weighted campus user:
Performance Year Baseline Year
Potable water use per weighted campus user 10,320.16 Gallons 18,810.77 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 11,520,519 Gross Square Feet 8,827,965 Gross Square Feet

Potable water use per unit of floor area:
Performance Year Baseline Year
Potable water use per unit of floor area 28.83 Gallons / GSF 53.34 Gallons / GSF

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

Area of vegetated grounds:
Performance Year Baseline Year
Vegetated grounds 234.65 Acres 234.15 Acres

Total water withdrawal per unit of vegetated grounds:
Performance Year Baseline Year
Total water withdrawal per unit of vegetated grounds 2,234,211.52 Gallons / Acre 2,908,707.70 Gallons / Acre

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

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

Since 2013, Student Affairs has continued to promote personal water conservation in housing and dining areas. Residence halls have implemented a water conservation program emphasizing peer-to-peer education through UCI’s Earth Rep’s program. To date, student representatives have educated over 400 residents on the importance of water as a resource and the personal impact students can have on water supply through behavior changes. In 2017 close to 2,000 shower hangers were distributed to undergraduate students through the program. In addition to the shower hangers Student Housing developed signs that give water-savings tips in bathrooms, laundry, and kitchen areas. Staff also provide opportunities to learn about drought tolerant landscaping through succulent planting events and volunteer turf removal projects. Future opportunities include education on green products that help protect waterways and a pilot study of shower timers.

Peer-to Peer-Student Engagement:
Student interns engage the campus community throughout the year teaching water conservation awareness while giving advice on reducing personal water consumption. Interns use a variety of outreach techniques including displays and games while also interacting one on one with peers. Interns also use social media to advocate for water conservation through infographics and instructional videos in an eff ort to reach a broader audience.

For more information, view EN-1 Student Educators Program:

Foam Rub Rinse Campaign:
Facilities Management has also provided outreach to the campus community encouraging conservation of water through the Foam, Rub, Rinse campaign. Signs have been placed across the campus core encouraging this practice.

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

Reclaimed water (tertiary treated blackwater) has been used for landscape irrigation on campus for more than 40 years. UCI works collaboratively with the Irvine Ranch Water District (IRWD), a pioneer in treating wastewater for reuse for agriculture and landscape irrigation. UC Irvine's blackwater is locally treated one-half mile away from campus at the IRWD Michelson Treatment Plant. Through IRWD the campus reclaims approximately 34% of blackwater produced on campus for landscape irrigation resulting in the conservation of more than 230 million gallons per year of potable water supply.

Partnering with IRWD, UCI converted the campus central plant cooling towers to recycled water use. This project has reduced potable water use on campus by an estimated 80 million gallons per year. IRWD constructed 3,000 feet of pipeline to transport recycled water from its recycling plant to the UCI Central Plant, which cools 65 buildings throughout campus. UCI retrofitted the on-campus plant and installed additional filtration and treatment systems to further treat the water. The water is then dropped from the roof of a cooling tower using air to help chilled it to 39 degrees before it is pumped through a circulation system to cool the structures, reducing the electricity needed for air conditioning.

For more information, please visit the following:


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

UCI has completed Phase 1 of an extensive campuswide plumbing retrofit program, replacing all pre-1994 plumbing fixtures (toilets and urinals) with high-efficiency fixtures. Phase 1 has resulted in annual savings of 14.8 million gallons per year. The next phase of this program will involve replacement of targeted post-1994 fixtures (urinals with gpf greater than 1, toilets with 1.28-1.6 gpf, and faucets with gpm exceeding 0.5 gpm) which will result in an additional 10.6 million gallons per year in savings.

Website URL where information about the institution’s water conservation and efficiency efforts is available:
Additional documentation to support the submission:

UC Irvine's water conservation initiatives have significantly reduced per capita water use on campus over the past decade. To date projects have resulted in a 46% reduction per capita from the baseline years.

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.