FRESNO — In the midst of California’s three-year drought, Fresno State is unveiling its aggressive Water Conservation Plan aimed at reducing campus water usage by 20 percent — or 59.8 million gallons — in the next year.
Though Fresno State pumps and maintains its own water system, the university is committed to preserving natural resources, said Bob Boyd, Fresno State’s associate vice president for Facilities Management. The plan calls for a reduction of 7.5 million gallons of water usage per month during growing season from March to October.
The university identified three areas of major water use — irrigation of the main campus and university farm; domestic water for sinks, toilets and water coolers; and chilled water used for cooling buildings. In 2008, nearly 299 million gallons of water were pumped and treated. It was estimated that about two-thirds, or 191 million gallons, were used for irrigation.
In addition to its ongoing water technology research, the university has enacted a number of water-saving measures, including limiting irrigation to one inch per week during growing season, transitioning to low-flow sprinkler heads, expanding electronic monitoring of flow in irrigation pipes to determine areas of inefficiency and changing the fertilizer blend the help turf thrive with less water.