Water conservation is a significant component of our sustainability agenda as we are located in the Intermountain West, where water availability and management is a serious concern. BYU is a leader in this area. In 2005 BYU received the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation Commissioner’s Water Conservation Award. More recently, we completed a project to convert landscape sprinklers from culinary water to non-potable, ground-source, secondary water. BYU also saves water by planting the right types of plants in landscaping, and by providing only the water the plants need. Water usage in flower beds has been reduced one-third by using recycled compost.
We have reduced the water usage from faucets and flush valves by 50 percent by using high efficiency plumbing fixtures and appliances. Moreover, we have replaced water cooled condensers with air-cooled to reduce water consumption. These measures help to keep the environment healthy. Untreated water from the Provo River Water Rights System is used to irrigate most of campus at great cost savings. This is the same water that is used on the south campus Stream and Trail path, a preferred recreational study location.
Additionally, sprinkling systems are designed with optimum dispersion rates and water audits are conducted to ensure ideal efficiency. Each distinctive plant material is treated with its ideal sprinkler application. Grass, shrubs and flowers are treated separately in individual beds with the best-suited irrigation heads, including MPR rotor heads and xeri-pop heads with the least amount of wasted water and drip irrigation for the shrubs. All valves are connected to a computer irrigation system that considers all soil types, sun-orientation, wind, rain and other environmental factors allowing the plant material to thrive optimally at maximum Evapo Transpiration (ET). This is determined and managed by a central computerized system and the campus water master.