Overall Rating Silver - expired
Overall Score 55.88
Liaison Jim Walker
Submission Date April 30, 2014
Executive Letter Download

STARS v2.0

University of Texas at Austin
OP-26: Water Use

Status Score Responsible Party
Complete 2.56 / 3.00
"---" indicates that no data was submitted for this field

Level of water risk for the institution’s main campus:
Low to Medium

Total water use (potable and non-potable combined)::
Performance Year Baseline Year
Total water use 780,052,104 Gallons 943,715,397 Gallons

Potable water use::
Performance Year Baseline Year
Potable water use 368,555,195 Gallons 512,756,300 Gallons

Figures needed to determine "Weighted Campus Users"::
Performance Year Baseline Year
Number of residential students 7,327 7,217
Number of residential employees 16 16
Number of in-patient hospital beds 0 0
Full-time equivalent enrollment 46,485 44,953
Full-time equivalent of employees 12,849 13,519
Full-time equivalent of distance education students 0 0

Gross floor area of building space::
Performance Year Baseline Year
Gross floor area 22,623,133 Square feet 19,102,006 Square feet

Area of vegetated grounds::
Performance Year Baseline Year
Vegetated grounds 765 Acres 765 Acres

Start and end dates of the performance year and baseline year (or three-year periods):
Start Date End Date
Performance Year Jan. 1, 2013 Dec. 31, 2013
Baseline Year Sept. 1, 2008 Aug. 31, 2009

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

FY and CY 2009 have been adopted as baseline years by the Vice President of University Operations and Associate Vice President of Campus Planning as part of the Natural Resources Conservation Plan, an evolving document that supports resource consumption planning for the entire Operations portfolio.

Water recycled/reused on campus, performance year:
33,486,947 Gallons

Recycled/reused water withdrawn from off-campus sources, performance year:
48,484,000 Gallons

A brief description of any water recovery and reuse systems employed by the institution:

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.

A brief description of any water metering and management systems employed by the institution:

UT Austin has installed more 160 water meters around campus. These are fully automated and have real-time consumption brought into a centralized server. Once the server captures the meter data, a client (IWS) application stores it in a database, and displays it in an HMI (Human machine interface). The data from each meter consists mainly of four variables; Current and Previous Month consumption (CM, PM) in gallons, and Current and Previous Day consumption (CD, PD) also in gallons. This data can also be trended for analysis purposes using the same IWS application where a user can also export it into excel. There is also an alarming feature in IWS where the technicians are constantly advise when a meter consumption is out of the historical norm. The meters send out electrical “pulses” per number of gallons of water, these pulses are counted in the plc (programmable logic controller) and totalized for consumption, then the server gathers this data and IWS is then utilized as described above. EBS, which is another client of the server, acts in a similar fashion as IWS, but only displays and stores Previous Month (PM) values for billing purposes.

A brief description of any building retrofit practices employed by the institution, e.g. to install high efficiency plumbing fixtures and fittings:

The first phase of UTakeCharge demand-side energy management and conservation projects included water conservation retrofits that were launched in July 2008 and completed by the end of January 2009. These projects replaced, repaired or installed 5,941 plumbing fixtures, including aerators, showerheads, urinals, toilet valves and tanks and bowls. The projected savings per year were 60 million gallons of water, 288,000 kWh and 246,000 pounds of carbon through saved pumping power, for a total estimated cost savings of $572,000. Annual water savings equates to a one-year supply of water for 831 local, average-size homes.

A brief description of any policies or programs employed by the institution to replace appliances, equipment and systems with water-efficient alternatives:

A brief description of any water-efficient landscape design practices employed by the institution (e.g. xeriscaping):

When areas are replanted we use only native or low water use plants that are adaptive to the Central Texas Region.

A brief description of any weather-informed irrigation technologies employed by the institution:

A brief description of other water conservation and efficiency strategies employed by the institution:

The website URL where information about the institution’s water conservation and efficiency initiatives is available:
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 stars@aashe.org.