Responsible water management is a critical aspect of sustainability at Florida State University. On campus, anyone can contribute to protecting this natural resource for Florida’s posterity. There are ample opportunities around campus where students, faculty, and staff can do their part for water conservation. Conscious efforts have been made around campus for years to effectively and sustainably manage rainwater and wastewater, improve the health of local water bodies, and minimize water usage in classrooms, residence halls, and landscaping projects.
To avoid automatic irrigation of plants and green spaces around campus during rainy periods, shut off sensors automatically detect when it’s raining and shut off the irrigation, which saves money and water. Flow meters, which are being increasingly installed, measure the flow rate of water to immediately detect if a leak has sprung and prevent gallons from being wasted.
Low-Irrigation Planting: When planting around campus, the Grounds Crew takes into consideration their role in water efficiency and chooses plants accordingly. Plants that require minimal to no watering, such as aloe, olive, and yucca, are planted in areas such as around Smith Hall. The Ground Crew’s track their daily work through a coordinated smart irrigation system that allows employees to document and monitor which areas have already been watered, and for how long, which prevents over-watering and waste.
Domestic Water Savings
In accordance with the requirements of the Florida State University design guidelines, new campus buildings are being equipped with hydration station water fountains, which make it easy and fast to refill a reusable bottle. This drastically cuts back on waste entering the landfill by avoiding the use of plastic bottles (more than 3 million bottles have been avoided). The design code also calls for all new buildings to be equipped with low flow fixtures for sinks and toilets. Air conditioning systems are cooled with well water instead of cooling towers (which can lose millions of gallons through evaporation).
Water Use Data
Take the challenge, here are five ways to measure a five-minute shower:
Use a shower timer. Contact FSU Sustainable Campus for your free timer!
Set a watch timer or watch the clock.
Sing the FSU Fight Song 10 times.
Listen to any five-minute song.
Sing the ABC’s 10.5 times. Stop after M on the 11th time.
Count backward from 300—this is helpful, relaxing, and meditative!