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Stanford has an extensive history of water conservation and manages a considerable network of water resources and infrastructure to meet the current needs of campus and plan for future campus growth, while also preserving ecological systems. To help expand water conservation and sustainable practices, and oversee thousands of water retrofits and projects, the Water Planning and Stewardship (WP&S) team created the Water Efficiency Program in 2001.  

Over the past 17 years, conservation projects, retrofits, capital improvements, and behavior changes have reduced water use by 45%, or a reduction of 1.3 million gallons on an average day in 2017 compared to 2001.  Learn about ongoing conservation initiatives.


View the 2017-18 Sustainability Year in Review for more in-depth data on water use. 

Key water conservation activities this year included the following:

  • WP&S expanded its interactive Water Conservation Program Map, detailing water conservation retrofit projects since 2002. Users can explore over 300 indoor and outdoor projects and water-efficient equipment upgrades, as well as estimated water savings where available. The map also includes general water profiles for each new university building opened since 2007.

  • Stanford’s annual Water Wise campaign, which underscored California’s statewide “water conservation as a way of life” initiative, resulted in over 500 water conservation actions taken by nearly 200 community members through the My Cardinal Green platform.

  • In Spring 2018, WP&S partnered with the Bay Area Water Supply & Conservation Agency (BAWSCA) to host two classes on creating water-efficient and low-maintenance gardens through the use of native and drought tolerant plants.

  • WP&S partnered with the Stanford Green Labs program to fund the installation of 37 aerators throughout campus, expected to conserve over 190,000 gallons of water per year.