Overall Rating Gold - expired
Overall Score 66.65
Liaison John Gardner
Submission Date Nov. 27, 2019
Executive Letter Download

STARS v2.1

University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee
OP-22: Water Use

Status Score Responsible Party
Complete 3.38 / 5.00 John Gardner
Sustainability Planning & Policy Analyst
Office of Sustainability
"---" 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:
Medium to High

Total water use (potable and non-potable combined):
Performance Year Baseline Year
Total water use --- 2,654,203,372 Gallons

Potable water use:
Performance Year Baseline Year
Potable water use 257,152,872 Gallons 322,789,972 Gallons

Start and end dates of the performance year and baseline year (or three-year periods):
Start Date End Date
Performance Year July 1, 2017 June 30, 2018
Baseline Year July 1, 2007 June 30, 2008

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

The water baseline was set at FY2008 to be consistent with our Energy baseline.

Figures needed to determine "Weighted Campus Users":
Performance Year Baseline Year
Number of students resident on-site 3,938 3,622
Number of employees resident on-site 0 0
Number of other individuals resident on-site and/or staffed hospital beds 0 0
Total full-time equivalent student enrollment 21,302.90 23,402.60
Full-time equivalent of employees (staff + faculty) 3,142.20 3,172.90
Full-time equivalent of students enrolled exclusively in distance education 0 0
Weighted campus users 19,318.33 20,837.13

Potable water use per weighted campus user:
Performance Year Baseline Year
Potable water use per weighted campus user 13,311.34 Gallons 15,491.10 Gallons

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

Gross floor area of building space:
Performance Year Baseline Year
Gross floor area 7,895,881 Gross Square Feet 6,159,081 Gross Square Feet

Potable water use per unit of floor area:
Performance Year Baseline Year
Potable water use per unit of floor area 32.57 Gallons / GSF 52.41 Gallons / GSF

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

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

Area of vegetated grounds:
Performance Year Baseline Year
Vegetated grounds 63.20 Acres 57.20 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 46,402,156.85 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:

Water Use reduction competitions in University Housing have been run using the Lucid Dashboard. Employees receive training in water-related behavior change through the Green Office Certification.

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

The Cambridge Commons residence hall features a graywater cistern used to water landscape as well as the green roofs.

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):

From 2009 to 2019, over 3 million sf of campus has been upgraded and retrofit for high efficiency urinals, toilets, and sinks.

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

UWM's non-potable water makes up a large fraction of total water use due to large amounts of water pumped from Lake Michigan to UWM's Central Heating and Chilling Plant. The Lake Front Pumping Station provides water to the Central Heating and Chilling Plant where it is used for condensing of refrigerant in chillers that provides cooling to campus buildings. The use of cool lake water (50-70 deg. F.) dramatically improves the energy efficiency of the chilling system, which provides UWM chillers with a much lower cost per ton of cooling versus chillers operated with cooling towers. Up to 23 million gallons per day of Lake Michigan water can be pumped to the Central Plant for this purpose (2.1 billion gallons in FY18). The pumping station is located at the bottom of the bluff behind the Alumni Center and has been in operation since 1969. These seasonally affected water draws are included in Baseline (FY08) and Performance Year (FY2018) total water use, according to the definition provided.

Discrepancies between IC-3 and this credit (for number of residential students, full-time equivalent enrollment, and full-time equivalent of employees), are due to IC-3 being based on most up to date FY2019 numbers and this credit includes FY2018 numbers. IC-3 includes FY19 numbers for several reasons: it is the most up-to-date information we have, our Research and Curriculum assessments were for FY19, and a number of additional credits included FY19 details to be as up-to-date as possible (submittal every 3 years). The most up-to-date information we have regarding resource consumption (waste, water, GHG, building energy consumption) is FY18.

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.