Students Save H2O

Sometimes simple ideas lead to significant results. Student-initiated project to install lower flow faucet screens will result in 77% reduction in water use.

As a project for their Environmental Studies Senior Seminar in fall 2006, Courtney Moore '07 and Nathalie Cooper '07 successfully implemented a new water conservation plan on campus. What began as a simple community based learning class sparked an interest in larger water conservation ambitions. Working closely with Facilities Management plumbing supervisor, Jim Moynihan, the two decided that water savings would be most effectively achieved by altering faucet flow in residence halls. This was accomplished by switching the faucet screens, effectively changing the flow from 2.2 gallons per minute to 0.5 gallons per minute without significantly affecting water pressure.

Moore and Cooper initially tested the project on one floor of Buckland Hall. They informed students in advance about the change and polled them after the installation. Responses to the project were positive. Moore and Cooper then met with Mary Jo Maydew, Vice President for Finance and Administration, to discuss a budget for the project. They projected annual water savings of approximately 7,318,500 gallons, which translates into a monetary savings of $29,274 based on current water prices, with a minimal installation cost. This does not include energy costs incurred by water heating, which will amount to greater savings. Facilities Management installed the fixtures across campus in summer 2007, helping to further the goal of a greener Mount Holyoke.