Auburn University implements water conservation measures due to extreme drought conditions

Published: November 11, 2016
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The most recent United States Drought Monitor report for the state of Alabama released by the National Drought Mitigation Center categorized Lee County under extreme drought conditions. The report can be accessed at http://droughtmonitor.unl.edu/Home/StateDroughtMonitor.aspx?AL.

"In response to the drought and a request from the City of Auburn Water Works Board to its citizens, Auburn University feels like it also needs to act responsibly and as a good neighbor," said Dan King, associate vice president for Facilities Management. The City of Auburn request can be accessed at https://www.auburnalabama.org/PressRelease.aspx?PRID=1906.

Below is a list of steps the university is taking to reduce water use:

  • Reduced irrigation across campus. Turf irrigation will be reduced by 50 percent or eliminated altogether. Fall annual color irrigation will be reduced by 33 percent or hand-watered, and irrigation on remaining summer annual color will be eliminated. 
  • Reduced irrigation on Housing and fraternity properties and at the East Glenn Administrative complex.
  • Reduced irrigation on athletic and recreation fields at season's end. 
  • Discontinued vehicle washing.
  • Discontinued pressure washing of paved surfaces except for health and safety concerns.
  • Rescheduled routine cooling tower preventative maintenance at chilled water plants. This activity requires draining and refilling of cooling tower basins.
  • Continued aggressive identification and correction of water leaks using the university's automatic meter reading system. Over the past three years, the university's Department of Utilities and Energy has had significant success identifying and correcting leaks and identifying items such as stuck toilet valves.

"These are the specific actions Auburn University has identified to date," King said. "We will continue to work with organizations across campus to identify additional opportunities."

Eric Moore, an engineer in Auburn University's Department of Utilities and Energy, notes the campus community can also help by reporting water leaks, running toilets, dripping faucets or other water issues to the Facilities Management Help Desk at 844-HELP or for Housing-related leaks call 844-4477.