“Water and Energy” is the theme of this year’s World Water Day, recognized on March 22, which aims to promote water and energy conservation. Water is required for almost all energy production, and energy is used during water extraction, purification and distribution. This relationship is commonly called the water-energy nexus.
At Vanderbilt, energy is used to pump and heat water throughout campus. Vanderbilt has many ongoing water conservation projects that not only reduce water consumption, but also decrease energy usage. As a result of the university’s efforts, water consumption at Vanderbilt has decreased by at least 68 million gallons per year—enough to fill 2.3 million bathtubs.
Did you know?
- Plant Operations and VUMC Plant Services have retrofitted thousands of bathroom fixtures on the main campus and at the medical center with water-saving devices, such as aerated faucets, low-flow or dual-flush toilets, water-free urinals and low-flow, high-performance showerheads in residence halls.
- Plant Operations continues to capture groundwater that collects in utility tunnels beneath campus to irrigate the student athletic fields. By capturing this water and redirecting it, Vanderbilt significantly reduces water purchases each year.
- Plant Operations and VUMC Plant Services have implemented condensation recycling in The Commons Center, MRB III and MRB IV, which takes water from the air and redirects it to the building’s cooling towers rather than sending it down the drain. These projects save an estimated 5.2 million gallons of potable water each year, which could fill the pool at the Vanderbilt Recreation and Wellness Center almost 11 times.
If you’d like to do your part on World Water Day, March 22, here are several suggestions for conserving water:
- Turn off water when it is not in use.
- Report all water leaks on campus to Plant Operations (344-9675) or to VUMC Plant Services (322-2041).
- Wash full, rather than partial, loads of lab ware, dishes or clothes in cold water whenever possible, which also saves energy.
- In residential environments, take short, efficient showers and turn off the water when brushing your teeth.
Contact: Tiffany M. Renfro, (615) 322-9022