Water Conservation

Lake Oroville during a drought period. Photo by Justin Sullivan, Getty Images.

California is in a serious water crisis. The matter has received extensive media coverage and has become the focus of many in the academic arena. But despite the ubiquity of information, there remains a substantial discrepancy between what we know and how we’ve responded. Although USC has been implementing measures such as drip irrigation to conserve water, as drought conditions persist, it is of immediate importance that USC adopt the technological and cultural mechanisms necessary to conserve water, and safeguard the university against future periods of low rainfall. By taking additional steps to conserve water and educate users, USC can help alleviate the stress on the state water system and act as a model for other universities and institutions facing similar problems.

Goal 1: Decrease potable water use 10% by 2017 and 25% by 2020.

  • Expand metering on UPC and HSC buildings
  • Prioritize mitigation strategies by cost and effectiveness (gallons/dollar)

Goal 2: Increase awareness of current water conservation practices.

  • Develop and implement an awareness campaign

Goal 3: Implement audience-appropriate educational campaigns designed to modify behavior and increase conservation.

  • Create conservation campaigns that resonate with specific campus stakeholders (i.e., faculty, students, staff, visitors)
  • Increase water conservation messages in higher use areas