Overall Rating Gold
Overall Score 75.77
Liaison Nathanael Schildbach
Submission Date March 2, 2018
Executive Letter Download

STARS v2.1

University of Massachusetts Amherst
OP-22: Water Use

Status Score Responsible Party
Complete 4.00 / 4.00 Ezra Small
Sustainability Manager
Physical Plant
"---" 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:
Low to Medium

Total water use (potable and non-potable combined):
Performance Year Baseline Year
Total water use ---
+ Date Revised: Jan. 14, 2019
382,024,168 Gallons

Potable water use:
Performance Year Baseline Year
Potable water use 261,328,215 Gallons
+ Date Revised: Jan. 14, 2019
382,024,168 Gallons

Start and end dates of the performance year and baseline year (or three-year periods):
Start Date End Date
Performance Year July 1, 2016 June 30, 2017
Baseline Year July 1, 2004 July 1, 2005

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

UMass Amherst has always used 2005 as our baseline for benchmarking water usage in STARS.


Figures needed to determine "Weighted Campus Users":
Performance Year Baseline Year
Number of students resident on-site 13,594 11,539
Number of employees resident on-site 50 0
Number of other individuals resident on-site and/or staffed hospital beds 0 0
Total full-time equivalent student enrollment 28,412 22,957
Full-time equivalent of employees (staff + faculty) 6,649 5,838
Full-time equivalent of students enrolled exclusively in distance education 967 388
Weighted campus users 28,981.50 24,190

Potable water use per weighted campus user:
Performance Year Baseline Year
Potable water use per weighted campus user 9,017.07 Gallons 15,792.65 Gallons

Percentage reduction in potable water use per weighted campus user from baseline:
42.90

Gross floor area of building space:
Performance Year Baseline Year
Gross floor area 12,970,149 Gross Square Feet 9,989,626 Gross Square Feet

Potable water use per unit of floor area:
Performance Year Baseline Year
Potable water use per unit of floor area 20.15 Gallons / GSF 38.24 Gallons / GSF

Percentage reduction in potable water use per unit of floor area from baseline:
47.31

Does the institution wish to pursue Part 3 of this credit? (reductions in total water use per acre/hectare of vegetated grounds):
Yes

Area of vegetated grounds:
Performance Year Baseline Year
Vegetated grounds 1,317.50 Acres 1,350 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 282,980.87 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:
---

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

The Central Heating Plant (CHP) currently utilizes the effluent from the Amherst Waste Water Treatment Plant (reclaimed water) as boiler make-up water to produce steam for the campus. To increase water conservation, the CHP has received a Class A Reclaimed Water Application to the Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection to use reclaimed water at the CHP cooling towers as well, the first issued in Western Massachusetts.

The Amherst campus currently uses about 330 million gallons of water per year. With the Class A Permit, the CHP would be able to use up to 200,000 gallons per day of reclaimed water, resulting in a potential reduction of potable water consumption of 21%.

History: Approximately ten years ago the Town of Amherst Department of Public Utilities requested that UMass investigate ways to reuse the town’s Waste Water Treatment Plant’s effluent (reclaimed water) on campus. UMass commissioned a study to investigate the feasibility of reusing this effluent and confirmed that the reclaimed water was possible for boiler water make-up at the old power plant. The best path forward on this effort was to use proven technology – multi media filters, reverse osmosis membranes, and chlorination.

With approval from the Town of Amherst and the Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection the University started utilizing reclaimed water in 2005. The water re-use initiative reduced potable water consumption by about 16%.


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):

The retrofit of campus toilets, urinals, and faucets targeted both academic buildings and residence halls. Some 3,400 toilets, 771 urinals, and 4,200 faucets have undergone retrofitting. Piping was also modified to comply with standard trade practices.
The flush valves on urinals were replaced with flushometer valves, reducing water consumption from 1.5 to 1.0 gallons of water per flush. Lastly, the faucets include tamper resistant flow restrictors and adapters. The total water savings for all retrofits, including toilets, urinals, showers, faucets, and water heating, will average about 10.5 million cubic feet of water annually, with associated cost savings of about $400,000.

The Orchard Hill Sustainable/Low-Flow Showerhead project is supported by the Sustainability, Innovation & Engagement Fund and was proposed by an Eco-Rep student living in Orchard Hill. The program replaced all 192 showerheads in Orchard Hill bathrooms during the summer of 2014. The project will save an estimated 1 million gallons of water per year.


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