In an effort to conserve water and help reduce the impact of the severe drought conditions in North Georgia, Facilities Management’s Landscape Services has proactively stopped all noncritical irrigation on campus.
In addition, water to the Kessler Campanile and other water features on campus has been shut off due to the recent Level 2 Drought Response issued by Governor Nathan Deal.
Earlier this month, Landscape Services began limiting irrigation to at-risk areas including newly seeded locations, such as Tech Green, where roots are still being established. In addition, reseeded fescue lawns and a limited number of fall annual flowerbeds will continue to receive irrigation water. In all cases, Tech will follow the restricted watering schedules based on the plants’ minimum watering needs.
It is estimated that these restrictive irrigation measures on campus will reduce water usage by approximately 90 percent, which will save an estimated 4.2 million gallons of water a month.
"We want to be responsible stewards of this precious resource,” explained Assistant Vice President of Facilities Operations and Maintenance, Mark Demyanek. “There are areas in and near metro Atlanta where every drop counts. Georgia Tech is doing our part to use available water responsibly."
Conserving water is something Georgia Tech has been doing for years. Much of the water used for campus irrigation — an average of 35 percent — consists of stormwater runoff and condensate that has been collected and stored in the 28 cisterns on campus. Together, these cisterns can hold up to 2.25 million gallons of water. In addition to irrigation, cistern water is also used for flushing toilets.
“But with the drought, even our cisterns are running low; it is time to take action,” says Demyanek.
We all can take action both on campus and at home to help save water:
- Check your toilets/faucets for leaks on a regular basis. If you see a leak on campus, submit a Building Maintenance Request at facilities.gatech.edu/building-maintenance-requests.
- Install water-saving showerheads and low-flow toilets.
- Turn off the water while brushing your teeth or shaving.
- Only run your dishwasher and washing machine with full loads.
- Collect rainwater on your property for watering plants.
For more information on Tech’s landscaping practices, visit the Facilities Management website at facilities.gatech.edu/landscaping.
Jessica Rose, LEED GA