Water Conservation FAQs
|Q: How does the use of paper plates and plastic flatware help UConn conserve water? Don't those products cause their own environmental issue by generating waste?
A: The decision to use paper plates and disposable cutlery in the dining halls does in fact involve a difficult tradeoff: a temporary increase in solid waste in order to conserve water that would normally be used to wash the dishes.
We estimate that 50,000 - 60,000 gallons per day, a significant amount, is being saved by not using the dishwashers in the dining halls/kitchens. It is simply a choice the University has made to address the more immediate priority of conserving water.
This is a temporary measure, and will be discontinued when the localized drought breaks and stream flows near our water supply wells return to healthier levels.
|Q: Yesterday I saw the artificial field behind the UConn Recreation center being watered. Am I going crazy? I thought we were in a drought!
A: Your concern about UConn's watering of the artificial surface at the Sherman Complex is understandable.
This field is used by UConn's Field Hockey team, and the watering is done before practices and games for the safety of student athletes. It ensures the playability of the field and minimizes the risk of knee and ankle injuries and abrasions. This is a common practice at NCAA Division 1 Field Hockey programs across the country, where the type of artificial surfaces used require watering for these reasons.
The University is reviewing a draft consultant's report which includes recommendations for improved water efficiency in irrigation practices, and Athletics has been restricting irrigation pursuant to the previously-issued Conservation Alerts.
|Q: What is UConn doing to conserve water?
A: Uconn has been working on a comprehensive water conservation program for several years now.
-- Stop the Drop signs have been installed in bathrooms across campus to assist people in leak reporting.
-- Agricultural and residential retrofits are introducing more water efficient technology to campus.
-- EcoMadness (water and energy conservation) dorm contests are run each semester on different parts of campus to raise awareness of student consumption
-- A system of water advisories and alerts has been developed to institute additional mandatory conservation measures when water levels become particularly low
-- Extensive outreach is been performed to educate students, faculty, and staff about what they can do to conserve
Q: Why does the University use tank trucks to irrigate flower beds during a drought?
Why does the University allow its contractors to use tank trucks to spray water for dust control during a drought?
A: In both cases, the tank trucks have been using water obtained from water supply systems other than UConn's. Use of water for dust control at construction sites is needed to prevent airborne dust particles from becoming an eye irritant or respiratory health hazard.
|Q: Alright, you've convinced me. How can I help to conserve water?
A: Some simple changes to make and good practices to follow are:
-- Take shorter showers
-- Run dishwashers and washing machines with full loads.
-- Avoiding letting water run continuously when washing dishes, shaving, and brushing teeth
-- Raise the thermostat in UConn buildings
-- Immediately report any leaky fixtures in UConn buildings to Facilities Operations (486-3113). Students may also report leaky fixtures in student residences via the Residential Life Webpage by clicking on the “Stop the Drop” Icon.
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