Water is among the most vital and limited natural resources. With droughts and water shortages becoming more commonplace in the United States, NC State will continue to increase its efficiency while also making advances to improve the quality of stormwater on campus.
is the amount NC State has reduced its water use by since 2001.
Multi-faceted efforts include installing aerators and other water volume-reducing devices to plumbing fixtures, using smart irrigation systems that reduce water use by 40 percent, and implementing trayless dining halls that have saved 51,000 gallons of water per week since 2008.
When possible, NC State uses water harvesting to meet non-potable water demands. Cisterns at Jordan and Biltmore Halls, Talley Student Union, Wolf Ridge Apartments and Yarbrough Utility Plant collect rainwater, which is used for campus irrigation, power washing and cooling utility plants. Condensate from HVAC systems is also collected and reused. A special water recovery system at Cates Utility Plant saves millions of gallons a year, and a new pipeline on Centennial Campus will supply reuse water (high quality water that has not been treated to safety levels for drinking) for cooling towers at Centennial Campus Utility Plant and for toilet flushing at James B. Hunt Jr. Library.
Like many municipalities, NC State incorporates best management practices to address stormwater quality and quantity on campus. The goal of this effort is to reduce pollutants — such as heavy metals, sediment, nutrients, oil and toxic substances — from entering local waterways.
NC State has many ongoing research studies related to water, primarily through its Water Resources, Coastal and Environmental Engineering programs. There’s also active research in Stormwater Engineering and the Water Resources Research Institute at NC State supports statewide outreach and research related to water resources.
How You Can Help
1. Shorten your shower to save water.
2. Turn off the tap when flowing water isn’t necessary.
3. Report campus water leaks to 515-2991 or firstname.lastname@example.org for quick repair.
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While searching for sources of bromide in the Cape Fear River watershed nearly five years ago, NC State environmental engineer Detlef Knappe and his team found more than they were looking for: high concentrations of a number of unexpected industrial chemicals in drinking water, including one — GenX — that has entered the popular vernacular in North Carolina.
New Research Shows Water Use Impacted by the Shape of Our Cities
Georgina Sanchez, Ph.D. student in the Department of Forestry and Environmental Resources, is using geospatial analytics to understand water demand in the Southeast. Her latest findings: urban developments with simpler shapes use less water.
The university and its Cooperative Extension offer the following resources related to water:
- Stormwater BMP Inspection and Maintenance Certification Workshops
- Residential Rain Garden Certification
- Water Resources Research Institute
Other on-campus resources:
- Energy Management coordinates water conservation on campus
- Water Quality Group
- Environmental Health and Safety’s Stormwater Management