Water wise students
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Water Wise

Take the shorter shower challenge

Stanford's award-winning water conservation program has reduced domestic water use by 39 percent since the year 2001 – despite continued campus growth – through commitment, dedication, innovation, implementation of a comprehensive set of water saving measures, and drought response.  One simple way that you can directly contribute to these savings is by taking shorter showers. Reducing your shower time to five minutes or less can save more than 2,500 gallons of water per person, per year.If everyone who pledged maintains this behavior it will save more than 2.5 million gallons!


Get Involved

Submit a request to Sustainable Stanford if you would still like a shower timer to help you with the challenge, and encourage your friends to participate too. 

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.