Overall Rating Silver - expired
Overall Score 51.19
Liaison Jim Walker
Submission Date Jan. 31, 2011
Executive Letter Download

STARS v1.0

University of Texas at Austin
Tier2-3: Non-Potable Water Usage

Status Score Responsible Party
Complete 0.25 / 0.25 Juan Ontiveros
Utilities and Energy Management
"---" indicates that no data was submitted for this field

Does the institution use non-potable water (e.g., harvested rainwater or graywater) for irrigation and/or other applications?:

A brief description of the source of non-potable water and how it is used:

Currently most of our non-potable reclaimed water is used in our cooling towers so that we need less potable water to operate those facilities. As we are in a cooling climate, we feel that this is a very important use of our current amount of reclaimed water.
UT has had an active water recovery program, coordinated by Utilities and Energy Management, since 1981. Composed of reclaimed groundwater, air conditioning condensate, swimming pool water, and cooling water from hundreds of different pieces of research equipment throughout the campus, the recovered water is pumped to the campus cooling towers where it displaces potable water for evaporative loss make-up.
The program recovers an average 3.5 million gallons a month, representing about 5% of the University's total water consumption and about 26% of cooling water demand. As of 2007, the water recovery program has recycled more than 1.35 billion gallons of water, for a total savings of approximately $7,500,000. From 1982 through 1999, while UT conditioned space increased by approximately 2 million square feet, campus-wide water consumption actually dropped by 100 million gallons. The program continues to be cited in many symposia and professional workshop presentations to state, industry and private sector professionals as a model of industrial conservation.

The website URL where information about the program, policy, or practice is available:

Irrigation and landscape watering constitutes a significant portion of water consumption at the University of Texas at Austin. Under the UTakeCharge initiative and the Demand Side Energy Management Conservation (DSEMC) program, UT is working to audit its water consumption, and use the information to reduce its water needs by replacing older systems with ones that are more efficient and environmentally sustainable. Measures may include installing water-conserving equipment such as moisture sensors, drip irrigation, and automated timer systems outside—over half of the irrigation systems require manual operation. In addition, UT plans in 2-3 years to convert to reclaimed “green” water from the city in dedicated purple pipes for future non-potable water uses, including irrigation. Every new irrigation installation is with non-potable water.

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.