Cal State Long Beach Strives for Efficiency
When it comes to saving water, California State University (CSU) Long Beach is keeping it simple. The Water Action Plan established during California’s recent historic drought calls for the campus to cut its water usage down 20 percent by the year 2020. CSU Long Beach has made quick progress in reaching that goal by already cutting their water usage by 10 percent over the last few years.
CSU Long Beach spends over $800,000 a year on water use. This means that there is a huge financial incentive for cutting down that usage to go along with the environmental incentive. Since water usage and energy usage are inextricably linked, the positive impact that these reductions will have on the environment is twofold.
A large college campus has many different areas where water savings can be achieved. Every bathroom and dormitory presents an opportunity to install new faucet aerators to restrict water flow.
Low-flow showerheads are also being utilized that can cut the flow by one gallon per minute. Touch-free faucets also help prevent water from running unnecessarily.
In addition to the improvements being made indoors, the campus has also turned to the outdoor areas to make improvements. Uncovered pools have new automated covers installed in order to cut back on the water lost to evaporation throughout the day. The irrigation system was recently overhauled to increase efficiency. The landscaping was altered to feature more drought-tolerant landscaping and instead of using inefficient sprinkler heads, the plants are being watered by drip irrigation. In order to avoid wasteful watering, weather-based irrigation controllers that can tailor the schedule to the local climate run the irrigation system.
CSU Long Beach has already made significant investments in order to save water. These measures have already paid dividends by saving thousands of dollars and millions of gallons of water. More will need to be done in order to meet their 2020 goals but it has been a productive start.