|March 5, 2021
University of California, San Diego
OP-21: Water Use
This credit is weighted more heavily for institutions located in areas of water stress and scarcity and less heavily for institutions in areas with relative water abundance. The points available for each part of this credit are determined by the level of ”Physical Risk Quantity” for the institution’s main campus, as indicated by the World Resources Institute Aqueduct Water Risk Atlas. The number of points available is automatically calculated in the online Reporting Tool as detailed in the following table:
Environmental Health & Safety
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):
|Total water withdrawal
Potable water use:
|Potable water use
Start and end dates of the performance year and baseline year (or three-year periods):
|July 1, 2018
|June 30, 2019
|July 1, 2005
|June 30, 2008
A brief description of when and why the water use baseline was adopted:
Water use baseline was adopted Dec 2013 in accordance with UC Sustainable Practices Policy. Fiscal years 2005-2006, 2006-2007, and 2007-2008 were averaged for a baseline year; this was chosen UC-wide for consistency and reliability of data.
Figures needed to determine "Weighted Campus Users":
|Number of students resident on-site
|Number of employees resident on-site
|Number of other individuals resident on-site
|Total full-time equivalent student enrollment
|Full-time equivalent of employees
|Full-time equivalent of students enrolled exclusively in distance education
|Weighted campus users
Potable water use per weighted campus user:
|Potable water use per weighted campus user
Percentage reduction in potable water use per weighted campus user from baseline:
Gross floor area of building space:
|Gross floor area
|20,988,051 Gross square feet
|12,763,607 Gross square feet
Potable water use per unit of floor area:
|Potable water use per unit of floor area
|26.88 Gallons per square foot
|55.27 Gallons per square foot
Percentage reduction in potable water use per unit of floor area from baseline:
Area of vegetated grounds:
Total water withdrawal per unit of vegetated grounds:
|Total water withdrawal per unit of vegetated grounds
|841,110.75 Gallons per acre
|902,108.81 Gallons per 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:
UC San Diego uses water conservation and report leak signs across all building bathrooms, laboratory sinks, and kitchen areas. Aquaholics Anonymous, a student organization mentored by UC San Diego Environmental Health and Safety staff, hold annual water conservation art competitions and table at a variety of events, including our annual Earth Day fair, to raise awareness around conserving water.
A brief description of the institution's water recovery and reuse initiatives:
UC San Diego updated its water action plan (AP) in 2017. We have already met the UC-wide goal of reducing growth-adjusted potable water consumption 20% by 2020 and have acheived the goal of reducing growth-adjusted potable water consumption 36% by 2025, when compared to a three-year average baseline of FY2005/06, FY2006/07, and FY2007/08.
Campus recycled industrial water use increased from 2015-16 FY 17,357,000 gal/year to 75,224,000 gal/year in 2016-17.
To do that, we have put in a place a number of water conservation and reuse strategies, including but not limited to:
- Irrigation, building, and research equipment retrofits to reduce water use.
- Using recycled water for more than 30% of campus irrigation and expanding the number of areas irrigated with recycled water rather than potable water.
- Expanded the use of recycled water for industrial use in the cooling towers at the Central Utilities Plant and on east campus, reducing potable water use by more than 60 million gallons per year.
- Building standards for new construction to improve water efficiency. All new buildings are LEED Silver or better.
- Using electronic controllers to efficiently irrigate the landscape in periods of only 4-6 minutes per cycle. Landscape staff are trained to identify signs of overwatering and water leaks in the irrigation system. In addition, the irrigation system itself tracks unusually high water use, which may signal a leak. In the event of a reported water leakage, UC San Diego’s Facilities Management department responds with an irrigation maintenance crew.
- Planting of low water, drought-tolerant vegetation in 75% of the irrigated campus landscape, turning off irrigation during wet winter months, and turning off irrigation to 54,000 square feet of turf to save 1.53 million gallons of water per year. The campus has retrofitted approximately 7,900 standard sprinklers with high-efficiency rotating nozzles, saving 10 million gallons of water per year. Meters that measure soil moisture that accurately target watering and a computer controlled irrigation system that tracks current weather data and adjusts watering based on temperature and humidity have been installed in select locations on campus and continue to be installed. Since 2014, the campus has eliminated 352,000 square feet.
- Collecting HVAC condensation and wastewater from Reverse Osmosis systems for reuse in irrigation.
- Single pass cooling water in the labs is prohibited. Findensers, which use air, have been issued to labs to replace single pass cooling. Aerators have also been installed in the laboratories as part of our Green Labs Program, saving 2.22 million gallons or 3,000 hundred cubic ft/year of water and $23,600.
- Fire-sprinkler and hydrant testing water is captured for reuse in the Central Utilities Plant cooling towers.
A brief description of the institution's initiatives to replace plumbing fixtures, fittings, appliances, equipment, and systems with water-efficient alternatives:
The Green Labs program has installed 745 aerators in across the campus, saving over more than 3 million gallons/year. Finally, single pass cooling is prohibited in all labs.
Website URL where information about the institution’s water conservation and efficiency efforts is available:
Additional documentation to support the submission:
Data source(s) and notes about the submission:
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 email@example.com.