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Water Wise

Got Rain? Now What...

Recent heavy rains have provided a welcome change from the past four years of record-breaking drought in California. Stanford’s award-winning water conservation program rose to the challenge of meeting—and exceeding—the state’s conservation mandate, reducing potable water use on campus by 49% from a 2001 baseline through innovative technologies and the cooperation of the campus community. Learn more about California’s fluctuating water supplies and what it means for the state of Stanford's water supplies. Visit the new water web site to find out more. You can get involved in ecology and water conservation projects during a special Earth Day service opportunity!

Get Involved

Volunteer opportunities are available on Friday, April 21 from 11am-1pm and Saturday April 22, from 10am-2pm (plus, staff can earn a BeWell Berry for participating!). Volunteers on Friday have the option to work in support of preserving the historic Arizona Garden, or native plant restoration in the foothills. On Saturday all volunteers will support the foothill restoration project. Sign up Here

Why be Water Wise?

In May 2015, Governor Brown expanded emergency regulations due to drought and severe water shortage conditions, which have now persisted for four consecutive years. The university has a drought response plan in effect, but needs each and every campus citizen to do their part to conserve our precious water resources. 

  • Reduce irrigation: Effective August 1, 2014 domestic landscape irrigation in Faculty and Staff Housing may occur only two days per week, on Tuesday and Saturday nights for even numbered addresses and Wednesday and Sunday nights for odd numbered addresses, between the hours of 7:00pm and 7:00am. 
  • Practice responsible landscaping and irrigation at your home: Irrigation is one of the largest water consuming practices at the home. The water efficiency team offers landscaping classes, as well as Water Wise house audits for faculty housing units on campus. Learn more.


Stanford practices sustainable water use by managing available resources to meet university needs while preserving ecological systems and maintaining this vital resource for future generations. Some recent highlights from the water efficiency projects completed on campus include

  • Upgrading Residential and Dining Enterprises' (R&DE) irrigation system to weather-based technology that saves more than 30 million gallons annually. 
  • Implementation of the Stanford Energy System Innovations project that cut total campus potable water consumption 15%.
  • The Department of Athletics, Physical Education, and Recreation has converted more than 30,000 square feet of lawn to save more than 1 million gallons of irrigation water per year. 
  • Installation of 58 water-saving devices on sterilizers reduced water use by about 0.084 million gallons per day.
  • Water efficiency staff performed landscape irrigation water audits of more than 30 residences and other campus grounds in fiscal year 2015 to identify leaks, eliminate irrigation runoff, and improve overall efficiency while maintaining healthy plants.