Overall Rating Gold
Overall Score 76.93
Liaison Nathanael Schildbach
Submission Date March 6, 2020

STARS v2.2

University of Massachusetts Amherst
OP-21: Water Use

Status Score Responsible Party
Complete 3.59 / 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 Aqueduct Water Risk Atlas:
Low to Medium

Total water withdrawal (potable and non-potable combined):
Performance Year Baseline Year
Total water withdrawal 343,540,000 Gallons 381,000,000 Gallons

Potable water use:
Performance Year Baseline Year
Potable water use 272,000,000 Gallons 381,000,000 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, 2004 July 1, 2005

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

UMass Amherst has always used FY2005 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 13,721 11,539
Number of employees resident on-site 62 0
Number of other individuals resident on-site 0 0
Total full-time equivalent student enrollment 29,175 22,957
Full-time equivalent of employees 7,074 5,838
Full-time equivalent of students enrolled exclusively in distance education 4,204 388
Weighted campus users 27,479.50 24,190

Potable water use per weighted campus user:
Performance Year Baseline Year
Potable water use per weighted campus user 9,898.29 Gallons 15,750.31 Gallons

Percentage reduction in potable water use per weighted campus user from baseline:
37.15

Gross floor area of building space:
Performance Year Baseline Year
Gross floor area 13,471,486 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 20.19 Gallons / GSF 38.14 Gallons / GSF

Percentage reduction in potable water use per unit of floor area from baseline:
47.06

Area of vegetated grounds:
Performance Year Baseline Year
Vegetated grounds 1,535 Acres 1,350 Acres

Total water withdrawal per unit of vegetated grounds:
Performance Year Baseline Year
Total water withdrawal per unit of vegetated grounds 223,804.56 Gallons / Acre 282,222.22 Gallons / Acre

Percentage reduction in total water withdrawal per unit of vegetated grounds from baseline:
20.70

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

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

Reclaimed Water Expansion
UMass Amherst is making strides in reducing the amount of potable water consumption through an array of water conservation efforts including the use of treated reclaimed water (effluent) from the Amherst Waste Water Treatment Plant. UMass Amherst is saving water in the residence halls and across campus in response to the Town of Amherst water restrictions and drought response from 2016: https://www.umass.edu/sustainability/water-conservation

2005 Reclaimed Water for CHP Steam and Hot Water:
Since 2005 the UMass Amherst Central Heating Plant (CHP) has safely utilized the effluent (reclaimed water) from the Amherst Waste Water Treatment Plant as boiler make-up water to produce steam for the campus and hot water distributed in a closed piping system throughout the campus. The water is treated with a state-of-the-art reverse osmosis (RO) treatment process. This initiative reduced potable water consumption by about 17%.

2013 & 2015 Expansion to Cooling Towers:
To increase water conservation, in 2013 the CHP submitted a Class A Reclaimed Water Application to the Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection to use reclaimed water at the CHP cooling towers. The campus received the permit to expand the reclaimed water for cooling tower use and has been using the reclaimed water for this purpose ever since at the CHP cooling tower. In 2015, UMass Amherst received authorization from the DEP to maximize our reclaimed water usage during the summer months to include the Commonwealth Honors Residential Complex which will be completed and implemented in time for the 2017 cooling season.

2018 Expansion to Irrigation:
In early 2018, the campus received an extension of the Class A Reclaimed Water Permit to expand the use of treated reclaimed water from the Amherst Wastewater Treatment Plant for the use of dust control and for watering plants to conserve potable water used for irrigation in response to the Town of Amherst water ban restrictions. This use for dust control and irrigation will be conducted under the existing Class A permit for reuse and the permit is being amended for this additional use. The campus has committed to a number of actions in order to comply with 314 CMR 20.13(1) and 314 CMR 20.13(2).

NOTE: The use of reclaimed water is extensively tested to minimize risk to employees and the campus under the Class A permit.


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

Website URL where information about the institution’s water conservation and efficiency efforts is available:
Additional documentation to support 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 and complete the Data Inquiry Form.