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Water Initiatives

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In addition to monitoring and reporting the campus’ compliance with local, state, and federal regulations for quality of drinking water, wastewater, and stormwater, the Water Planning & Stewardship (WP&S) team works with its partners to increase water awareness and conservation across campus. Thanks to ongoing conservation efforts, campus domestic water use averaged 1.44 million gallons per day (mgd) from July 1, 2019 – June 30, 2020, compared to 2.7 mgd at the start of the water conservation program in 2001.

WP&S partners with campus facilities to promote a 24-hour water waste and leak hotline. Anyone observing leaking taps, toilets, or showers, misaligned irrigation, broken irrigation sprinklers (water shooting into the air), or excessive irrigation runoff (flowing in gutters), is encouraged to dial (650) 723-2281 for immediate attention.


On May 24, 2022, the California State Water Board adopted emergency water conservation regulations across the state. Additionally, the San Francisco Public Utilities Commission, who supplies Stanford with domestic water, has also increased their call for water use reductions. The university continues to manage water resources in a sustainable manner. This ensures that Stanford is prepared for California’s cyclical water patterns that are prone to drought and maintains water supplies for our growing campus. 

In accordance with the state, the university continues to prohibit water wasting practices on campus, including:

  • The application of potable water to landscapes in a manner that causes runoff to adjacent property, non-irrigated areas, private and public walkways, roadways, parking lots or structures. 
  • The use of a hose that dispenses potable water to wash a motor vehicle, unless the hose is fitted with a shut-off nozzle.
  • The application of potable water to any hard surface, including, but not limited to, driveways, sidewalks, and asphalt. 
  • The use of potable water in a fountain or decorative water feature, unless the water is recirculated.
  • The application of potable water to outdoor landscapes during or within 48 hours after measurable rainfall.
  • Serving drinking water other than upon request by an eating or drinking establishment.
  • The irrigation with potable water of landscapes outside newly constructed homes and buildings.

Learn more about Stanford's water resources.

Sustainable Water Practices

Learn about sustainable water practices at Stanford.