By Paul Cleland
As the quarter winds down, the ART Water team has several loose ends to tie up before finals week. Throughout this quarter we surveyed hundreds of UCLA students, faculty, and guests about drought tolerant landscaping and artificial turf use on campus and the Hill, and have been steadily working on our stormwater policy. This week, the ART Water Team has taken on the task of analyzing our artificial turf survey results and finalizing a report on this survey that will be given to UCLA Capital Programs (for which our stakeholder, Tracy Dudman, is a senior planner under the Project Development Department), as well as the UCLA Water Task Force. We are also adding the finishing touches to our stormwater policy for UCLA Capital Programs and beginning work on our final report, final presentation poster, and final PowerPoint slides this week.
Through analysis of our artificial turf survey, for which 366 people were surveyed, some key points caught our attention. The Water Team hypothesized that there would be polarizing opinions on artificial turf. Surprisingly, the results of the survey were not as negative as expected. At first, 26 percent of students, faculty, and guests surveyed did not like the idea of placing artificial turf on campus or on the Hill. Also, 15 percent of those surveyed did not think artificial turf installation was a good way of reducing water consumption. Yet, upon informing those surveyed about the University of California’s commitment to a 20 percent water reduction per person by 2020, more opinions were swayed in favor of artificial turf placement at UCLA. At the end of the survey, only 17 percent of participants were against artificial turf installation on campus or on the Hill. This has led the ART Water team to conclude that when people are informed of the water reduction benefits of artificial turf, and the importance of water reduction to the University of California, people are more inclined to the idea of artificial turf installation. In summation, the Water Team believes education leads to greener practices.
As the last weeks of the school year are upon us, the Water Team’s camaraderie has reached an all-time high. Through our mutual love of sustainability and the environment, great friendships have fostered between us all. We have all been fortunate enough to have completed some great water-related work and to have been grouped with one another.