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GW is commited to reducing its water footprint
GW is committed to reducing our potable water footprint and our negative impact on our watershed. On Earth Day 2011, GW revealed its water footprint and announced its targets around water sustainability. The GWater Plan is one of the most comprehensive plans for water sustainability issued by an American university, with eight clear goals and targets spanning across four major focus areas – potable water, rainfall capture, wastewater and bottled water.
GWater Menu - Learn about the differences between tap and bottled water.
Reduce total potable water consumption by 25% over 10 years from FY08 baseline
Adapt water saving infrastructure in campus facilities
Reuse all retained stormwater for greywater systems, cooling towers and irrigation
Encourage water conservation through programs such as Eco-Challenge and the Green Office Network
Capture rainwater that falls on our campus -- zero run-off
Increase permeable space by 10% over 10 years from FY11 baseline
Pilot new technologies to harvest rainwater
Create rainfall capture and sequestration sites around campus
Reduce the amount of contaminants going into our campus waste water system -- zero pollution
Educate GW community on impacts of litter on our watershed
Promote responsible disposal of pharmaceuticals and other pollutants
Partner with local organizations who protect the surrounding watershed
Reduce the use of bottled water on campus
Reduce direct expenditure on bottled water in university procurement by half over five years from FY11 baseline
Ensure all new constructions incorporate in-line filtration systems
Engage GW community to 'Take back the tap' and promote the use of reusable water bottles
Existing GW Water Projects
This unique water reclamation park captures and retains all water that falls on the site. Through a network of cisterns, tunnels, permeable surface and rain barrels, this 3/4 acre site highlights the technological possibilities for managing storm water. The Square 80 plaza is a participant in the SITES pilot program which is developing a certifications for outdoor spaces.
This pilot green roof on the Elliot School was proposed by students and opened in fall 2008. The roof features hearty sedum plants, which help prevent storm water runoff.
The GroW Community student group created the GroW Garden on the Foggy Bottom campus. GroW Garden features native vegetables and plants which require less watering, and the addition of vegetation to the campus also helps prevent storm water runoff.
There are several water bottle refill stations located in various buildings on campus. Locations include Gelman Library, Marvin Center, Ross Hall, Burns Law Library, Stockton Hall, Lerner Hall- GW Law School, Lerner Health and Wellness Center, Science and Engingeering Hall, and Ames Hall.
Through our outreach to faculty and staff on campus we seek to educate the GW community about their water usage and ways to reduce it.
This annual conservation challenge between residence halls encourages students to reduce their electricity and water usage.
To raise awareness about drinking water choices, the Office of Sustainability occasionally holds water taste tests on campus. Students "blind taste" samples of bottled, filtered, and tap water to see if they can tell the difference. These students are then encouraged to choose tap water or filtered tap water over bottled water whenever possible, carry a reusable bottle for this purpose, and talk to their family and friends about reducing their bottled water use.