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CSUMB cuts water use

Water consumption on campus reduced by more than 40 percent between 2013-2015

Cal State Monterey Bay has taken drastic measures to reduce water use since the beginning of California’s historic drought. Those efforts have paid off.

In 2013, CSUMB used 174.89 acre feet (AF) of water on campus. In 2014, it was 151.54 AF. In 2015, it went down to 103.3 AF.

This savings achieved at CSUMB since 2013 is equal to the water use of 255 homes annually. The figures for all three years exclude East Campus housing.

As the name suggests, an acre-foot is defined as the volume of one acre of surface area to a depth of one foot. It’s a unit of volume commonly used in the United States in reference to large-scale water resources.

Much of this was achieved by a massive cut in irrigation according to Mike Lerch, the associate director of CSUMB Facility Services & Operations.

“Along with landscaping use, we also made slow but steady progress in reducing usage in residential occupancies,” Lerch said. “The next step in cutting residential use is retrofitting the bathrooms in the older residence halls with newer toilets that use significantly less water.”

According to Lerch, a large portion of CSUMB’s reduction measures are in conjunction with the work of the Marina Coast Water District, which offers a toilet rebate program and free water conservation devices.