As a shared asset, we understand the importance of monitoring our use of water on campus. A large portion of our water comes from local and natural sources including Spring Lake, the San Marcos River, and an Edwards Aquifer well located behind Jackson Hall. This water is used within the University power and chiller plants and also for irrigation. Two of our three chiller plants utilize reclaimed water from the lake rather than the aquifer. Xeriscaping, a landscape technique requiring less water use, is promoted and implemented whenever possible. To prevent over-pumping, the city and state have established specific guidelines for water use which the University adheres to. The University is required to have a permit to pump water from these natural bodies. The permit outlines the amount of water that can be removed and allocated water use based on flow rates. During times of drought and critical flow rate, efforts are taken to reduce river water usage as well as restricting daytime use of fountains therefore decreasing evaporation.
Among the student body, dorm meetings are held about responsible water usage and e-mail reminders are also sent to all students, faculty, and staff. Additionally, low flow shower nozzles and automatic shut-off faucets are used throughout campus.
Currently, there is a rainwater catchment system being constructed next to the agriculture building. A 10,000-gallon cistern will hold rainwater caught from an adjacent rooftop. The system will include a flush and ball valve, a water meter, and a cedar trellis along the gutter.