Shrink Your Water Footprint

Mount Holyoke College uses an average of 80, 000 gallons of water a day. That is enough to:

  • fill the Kendall pool every 2.2 days
  • fill 8 PVTA buses
  • fill 9 single rooms

What students can do to save water

In the bathroom

  • Reduce shower time by at least 2.5 minutes.
  • Jump in when the water’s hot!  Each minute the shower runs wastes 2.5 gallons.
  • Turn off the shower when shampooing, shaving, or soaping up.
  • Turn off the water while brushing teeth or face washing.
  • Turn off faucets tightly after each use and report leaking faucets to Facilities Management.
  • Don’t use the toilet as a waste basket, every unnecessary flush wastes 1.5 to 3.5 gallons

In the laundry room

  • Wash full loads or match the water level to the size of the load.
  • Be even greener by using cold water.

In the kitchen

  • Don’t leave the water running when washing dishes by hand.

Shower statistics

  1. 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). Creighton Hall uses even more efficient shower heads with a flow rate of 1.5 gallons per minute. 
  2. 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. 
  3. If every student reduced their shower time to 5 minutes the next time they 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.
  4. Heating those 10,000 gallons of hot water uses 4.7 million BTUs and creates 750 lbs of greenhouse gases.
  5. 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!

Why conserve water?

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.

How is the water supplied to Mount Holyoke?

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.