UD SUSTAINABLE OPERATIONS
In our 2020 AASHE STARS Report, we reported for two subcategories within the overarching ‘Water’ categories, and Water is one of our seven E.C.O. Wheel categories and an important part of our Sustainability Plan. In AASHE STARS, the University of Delaware scored the following for the two Water subcategories:
About: As water shortages and droughts become more common, it is important that the university does its part in conserving water. Using water efficiently guarantees that there will be enough water for drinking, sanitation, hygiene, and irrigation.
Current State: UD has low-flow water fixtures across campus. However, the university’s water conservation efforts are relatively unimpressive. As shown above, UD earned only 0.82 out of 4 credits in the ‘Water Use’ subcategory in AASHE STARS. To earn full credit, UD must show at least a 30% reduction in potable water use 1) per weighted campus user, 2) per square foot/meter of floor area, and 3) per acre/hectare of vegetated ground in the span of 1 or 2 years. UD had a 0% reduction of water use for criteria 1 and 3 while only reducing water use for criteria 2 by 18%.
Waste: UD currently offers reusable to-go containers, Sip Smarter dining locations where students can opt-out of using a straw, and have hydration stations where water bottles can be refilled. Residential dining saves water by going tray-less and use napkins made from 100% recyclable materials.
Stormwater / Rainwater Management: The proper stormwater management protects ecosystems and public spaces from overflooding and polluted runoff. Unchecked stormwater can lead to excessive erosion and can compromise the quality of local water sources.
UD has a relatively thorough stormwater management system. Most of our campus drains into a groundwater refresh zone and discharges to surface water with a downstream drinking water purveyor. UD has incorporated bio-swales, rain gardens, and multiple green roofs into our campus and building designs. The university also utilizes permeable artificial turf fields that use underground Stormtech chambers to manage stormwater.
- By 2026, reduce potable water use by 30% in all three AASHE measurement criteria.
- Encourage rainwater reuse for landscaping.
- Increase signage to advertise stormwater successes.
- create a water conservation plan within the next two years.