The University of California will strive to achieve sustainable water systems through reduction of potable water, efficient irrigation systems, drought tolerant planting selections, and turf removal.
Water bottle refilling stations found on campus allow students and staff to refill reusable water bottles, cutting out the need for single-use plastics.
The UCR Botanic Gardens occupies 12 hectares of rugged, hilly terrain along the eastern boundary of the UCR campus. In 2014, the irrigation system of the Botanic Garden has been reconnected to a non-potable water source, allowing to save 20 million gallons of potable water per year.
The Arroyo is part of the campus stormwater plan and is comprised of 283,440 SF of what was once a neglected landscape between Glenmor 1 and Glen Mor 2. Gabion Walls have been added to stabilize and restore the meandering stream without restricting its flow. Now, it’s a restored natural plant community and wildlife habitat. Plants include: Artemisia, Eriogonum, Ceanothus, Mimulus, and Salvia species. Restoring the natural habitat of the arroyo has the potential to support the flora and fauna of the area, and provides an educational opportunity of study and research for campus academic programs.
The Gage Canal carries water from the Santa Ana River along with local aquifers that are fed by the San Bernardino National Forest. It was completed in 1889, and has been the source of agricultural water for citrus groves that made Riverside famous.
Engineering students are working on retrofitting a warehouse at the R’Garden with rainwater collection system. This project will demonstrate the benefits of grey water systems as well as provide opportunities for research
Autoclaves are large dishwashers used in laboratories to sterilize materials. They use in average between 1,000 to 4,000 gallons of water per day. The new Environmental Health & Safety building will be the first in the UC system to have an energy and water efficient Priorclave, which should reduce by 90% both water and energy consumption.
Reduction of Irrigation
The State of California has been in drought for the past few years and in response the Governor has implemented drought measures. Part of the campus’ efforts has been to reduce irrigation on campus lawns, only watering to the needs of the trees.
Low Flow Bathroom Fixtures
All LEED buildings have installed indoor low-flow fixtures that reduce indoor potable water by at least 35%. Glen Mor 2 for instance, has low-flow aerators, dual-flush and low-flow urinals.