Water Conservation

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Drought 2022

In response to the continued and intensifying drought in the State of California, Governor Gavin Newsom has issued N-7-22, calling to increase to a level 2 water shortage supply plan. The campus is responding to the drought with water conservation measures.

What are the Mandatory Water Use Restrictions?

  • Restrictions will go into effect on June 10th
  • Watering will be reduced to three days a week
  • Prohibit watering lawns on all days between the hours of 9:00 a.m. and 6:00 p.m.
  • Prohibit using a hose to wash down paved surfaces such as sidewalks, driveways, and parking areas
  • All leaks from indoor and outdoor plumbing fixtures will be promptly repaired

CSUF Water History

CSUF has an extensive history of water conservation efforts. Campus groups have worked together on innovative solutions to save water, achieving a 27% reduction in water use from FY 12/13 to FY 21/22 even as the campus grew by 2.4 million square feet.

  • In 2014, in conjunction with PowerSave campus, Facilities Management audited restroom sinks across campus, identifying those with the above-code-prescribed flow and replacing them with 0.5 gallons per minute flow aerators, saving a projected million and a half gallons of water per year.
  • Spurred by ongoing drought, in 2015 Cal State Fullerton removed 11 acres (or 471,000 square feet) of lawn and replanted with native wildflowers and grasses, decorative rock, and ground cover, helping the campus exceed the 28 percent water use reduction goal mandated by the governor. While two acres of lawn were since reinstalled, drought-tolerant landscaping is the new campus norm.
  • Flow meters were installed to help monitor daily water usage more accurately, plus master valves to help shut the system down in the event of major leaks.
  • Twenty-four “smart” water meters were installed to monitor irrigation campus-wide. The meters remotely read data down to the 5-minute interval and sends the information to a dashboard that can be viewed from any smart device. In addition to reading water usage, these smart meters also have flow rate and leak detection capabilities and can send reports via email.
  • Forty additional weather-based irrigation controllers were installed and ready to be programmed.
  • In January 2016, Student Housing replaced top-loading washers with 46 efficient front-loading Speed Queen washers in the Cypress Hall laundry facility, in conjunction with third-party vendor WASH Laundry Systems.
  • Pool covers were added on all campus pools to reduce evaporation and save on natural-gas heating costs.
  • In 2018, the Physical Plant team replaced 372 faucets in 12 buildings with water-saving fixtures thanks to a $600,000 grant from the Department of Water Resources. The new 0.5-gallon-per-minute faucets represent, on average, a 75% reduction in flow from existing ones.
  • In 2019, under the grant 110 dishwashers serving 800 residents were replaced in Student Housing with water-saving models.

Ongoing Efforts

  • Incorporating colorful, drought-tolerant landscaping in passive zones
  • Installing bioswales that capture water during heavy rains, recharge our aquifer, and remove contaminants from stormwater
  • Converting landscape areas to water-wise drip irrigation and low-water-use overhead irrigation
  • Installing low-flow toilets, urinals, and touch-free automatic faucets with low-flow restrictors in new construction projects
  • Retrofitting faucets with low-flow restrictors
  • Installing weather-based central irrigation controllers
  • Using the latest varieties of turf grass that require less water
  • Installing soil moisture meters for better irrigation practices
  • Using soil-wetting agents to help with the conservation of water
  • Maintaining the Storm Water Management ProgramOpens in new window
  • Renovation Projects

Ways to Help

  • Students, Faculty, and Staff

  • On-Campus Housing Residents

    o   Take Shorter Showers

    o   Trayless Dining

    o   Wash Full Loads of Clothes and Dishes

    o   Turn Off Water When Brushing Teeth, Shaving

  • At Home

    o   Full Loads Only

    o   Use Water-wise Plants

    o   Fix Leaks

    o   Install High-Efficiency Toilets

    o   Use a Broom to Clean Outdoor Areas

    o   Install Aerators

Annual Water Consumption


CSUF Annual Water Consumption Graph