Drought Inspires Increased Water Conservation
On May 18, in response to California Governor Jerry Brown’s state of emergency declaration during a fourth year of drought, additional emergency drought regulations (administered by the State Water Resources Control Board) went into effect. On June 15, Provost Etchemendy distributed a letter detailing Stanford’s policy for compliance with these regulations.
The new regulations require institutional water users, like Stanford, to either reduce potable water use by 25% compared to the same months in 2013 or limit irrigation of ornamental landscapes and turf with potable water to two days per week. Stanford complied with these regulations by limiting irrigation with potable water to two days per week. Going a step further, Stanford also asked users of nonpotable irrigation water to reduce irrigation by at least 25% from a 2013 benchmark. To facilitate implementation of the two-days-per-week watering restriction and to maximize water conservation, irrigation of Faculty Staff Housing and other campus lawns and ornamental landscaping using domestic water was limited to Tuesday and Saturday nights for even-numbered addresses and Wednesday and Sunday nights for odd-numbered addresses (and those areas without an address), between 7:00 p.m. and 7:00 a.m.
Stanford has reduced its potable water use by 31% since 2001 through an intensive water conservation program. Drought measures that helped Stanford conserve in 2014-15 included turning off decorative fountains, fixing leaks, performing preventive maintenance and operational optimization for both domestic and nonpotable water, improving equipment efficiency, and continuing outreach.