Shrink Your Footprint

Mount Holyoke College uses an average of
90, 000 gallons of water a day. That is enough to:

  • fill the Kendall pool every 2.5 days
  • fill 9 PVTA buses
  • fill 10 single rooms

Why Conserve?

Across the country and the world, our growing population is putting stress on available water supplies. Between 1950 and 2000, the U.S. population nearly doubled. In that same period, public demand for water more than tripled! The average American now uses 100 gallons of water each day—enough to fill 1,600 drinking glasses! Water conservation is the most cost-effective and environmentally sound way to reduce our demand for water. Using less water also puts less pressure on water supply and distribution systems, sewage treatment facilities, and uses less energy for water heating.

Where Our Water Comes From

The College’s water is supplied by South Hadley Fire District No.2, which serves the northern section of South Hadley and gets its water from Dry Brook Well. Dry Brook Well is a 112-foot deep artesian well located along the Connecticut River near the Hadley town line. The well pumps about 950 gallons per minute, and in 2007 pumped a total of 158,039 million gallons.

Shower Time Facts

Most residence halls at Mount Holyoke use low flow shower heads that use 2.5 gallons per minute (Older standard heads you may have at home use 5 to 7 gallons a minute). The New Residence Hall uses even more efficient shower heads with a flow rate of 1.5 gallons per minute. 

The average shower time in the U.S. is 7.5 minutes. 2,200 students taking a 7.5 minute shower at Mount Holyoke use over 41,000 gallons of water. 

If every student reduced her shower time to 5 minutes the next time she stepped in the shower it would save over 10,000 gallons! If students take 5 showers a week, this adds up to over 50,000 gallons a week.

Heating those 10,000 gallons of hot water uses 4.7 million BTUs and creates 750 lbs of greenhouse gases.

If we used 10,000 gallons less of hot water a day, in a month the collective greenhouse gas reduction would be 11.25 tons. This equates to taking 2 cars off the road for a year or planting 2.3 acres of trees!

What You Can Do To Save Water

  1. Reduce your shower time by at least 2.5 minutes.
  2. Jump in when the water’s hot!  Each minute you leave the shower running waiting for the right temperature wastes 2.5 gallons.
  3. Turn off the shower when shampooing, shaving, or soaping up.
  4. Turn off the water while brushing your teeth or washing your face.
  5. Turn off faucets tightly after each use and report leaking faucets to Facilities Management.
  6. When doing laundry, wash full loads or match the water level to the size of the load. Be even greener by using cold water.
  7. Don’t use the toilet as a waste basket, every time you flush unnecessarily you waste 1.5 to 3.5 gallons.
  8. Don’t leave the water running when washing dishes by hand.