A Wrap-Up on Water for Winter

By Grace Olson

How is winter quarter almost over? Our Water Action Research Team has set its sights on four different projects for these two quarters, and we are making great progress on them as we wrap-up our work for winter. The four projects include drought-tolerant landscaping, artificial turf, stormwater policy, and water education in the Green Guide to Living for on-campus residents. We are very excited to present our progress to the Education for Sustainable Living Program in our midterm report this week!

At the start of spring quarter, our team will present our findings from our drought-tolerant landscaping survey to a board on the Hill. Hopefully, our conclusive findings that students strongly support drought-tolerant landscaping will be implemented on the Hill, and will reduce our campus’ water use in order to meet UCLA’s goal of 20% water reduction by 2020.

We will also continue a revised survey on artificial turf on campus, with the goal to similarly present our findings to a board on campus. (To read more about our artificial turf survey, please read last week's blog here.)

Regarding stormwater policy, our stakeholder Tracy Dudman of Capitol Programs organized a meeting for our team on March 3rd to educate us on the specifics of drafting stormwater policy. Now that we understand specific elements, we are planning to draft a policy that includes capturing water from buildings' HVAC (heating, ventilation, and air conditioning) units. That way, the stormwater tanks will be filled for the duration of the year, not only when it is raining and can capture stormwater. There are also other systems that could be tied into the clean water loop, and water from these systems could be captured by the stormwater tank. We are very excited to turn our research into a policy proposal that could be implemented by UCLA.

A stormwater system utilized at Yale University. A similar system, modified from the one illustrated above, will hopefully be implemented at UCLA as a result of our policy proposal. Source: Campus Sustainability Best Practices: A Resource for Colleges and Universities

A stormwater system utilized at Yale University. A similar system, modified from the one illustrated above, will hopefully be implemented at UCLA as a result of our policy proposal. Source: Campus Sustainability Best Practices: A Resource for Colleges and Universities

Lastly, we have completed a final draft of a water insert for UCLA’s Housing and Hospitality Service’s Green Guide to Living. This insert includes three large sections with water saving tips, water facts, and steps UCLA is taking to help conserve water. Smaller sections include an introduction on water as a resource, a message that small changes can help, a contact for students on the Hill to report leaks, and a quote from Chancellor Block about water scarcity. Our leader Ellen did a fantastic job on the layout and we can’t wait to see this much-needed insert in the Green Guide to Living.