Sept. 2, 2014
What Facilities has already done
Letter sent out to students:
I hope this message finds all of you returning to campus from an enjoyable recess with renewed enthusiasm for the spring term. Especially for those of you who may have been out of state, or as a reminder for those who have remained in California, please be aware that our state is currently experiencing a severe water drought that Governor Jerry Brown has declared an emergency. As the drought is the worst on record and forecasts predict this year to be among state’s driest in 163 years. Governor Brown has called for a voluntary 20 percent water reduction by all Californians. Please join in and protect your environment.
Facilities Services has already begun addressing this need in curbing water usage across campus in ways such as using less water in landscaping efforts. In the residence halls specifically, staff are installing low-flow shower heads and sink faucet aerators. Still, we need all residents to assist in addressing this issue. Some steps you can take are as follows:
•Decrease the time you spend in the shower. You use 2.5 gallons a minute, (every minute counts). A few minutes a day could mean 375 gallons per person a month.
•Only use washing machines when you have enough items to constitute a full load.
•Refrain from running water while you are brushing your teeth.
•Wash your car less frequently.
•If you have or observe a sink with a constant drip, be sure to enter a work request to have it repaired.
Understand that this is not a Saint Mary’s College of California issue, but a community issue. This drought threatens our neighbors including state farmers and firefighters. Your actions, and empowering your fellow students to be conscious of this concern, will go a long way to assisting California in this time of need.
Future Plans Under Consideration:
We are currently looking into computerized smart controllers to improve irrigation efficiency, and adding low water-use landscaping. We are also exploring converting high water-use lawns to sustainable landscaping around housing.
The following are possible conservation steps:
•Convert sprinklers in shrub areas to in-line drip irrigation.
•Replace conventional sprinkler nozzles with high-efficiency rotating or precision nozzles.
•Replace traditional irrigation timers with self-adjusting models.
•Install pressure regulators to improve system performance.
•Install sub-meters to improve leak detection and irrigation management.
For more information, contact Joe Kehoe, executive director, Facilities Services at (925) 631-4286 or firstname.lastname@example.org.