Water

As a large, research-intensive university, we consume a significant amount of water—about four billion litres a year, enough to fill 1,600 Olympic-sized swimming pools. In 2011/12, UBC achieved a 50 per cent reduction in water consumption in institutional buildings compared to 2000 levels (adjusted for growth), and many more opportunities exist to conserve, reuse and recycle water more efficiently. Our long-term vision is to create a campus-wide closed loop water system, and we’re developing a Water Action Plan and an Integrated Stormwater Management Plan to help us achieve our goal. 

Water Action Plan

UBC is developing a Water Action Plan to build on our water conservation achievements to date and guide the University’s water management activities in the future.

Initial Planning Process

Public consultations were held in 2011 to initiate the development of the plan.

Water Conservation

Water use at UBC goes beyond the drinking fountain, and conserving water has been one of our key water management strategies for the last 20 years. We’ve reduced our water use significantly through initiatives like ECOTrek and UBC Renew, and through water conservation policies for new buildings on campus.

Stormwater Management

At UBC, we think of stormwater as a resource to be managed, rather than wasted. We’ve integrated innovative stormwater management practices into our campus planning and design since 1997. These strategies incorporate the natural systems around us, and demonstrate our commitment to sustainable development.

Approximately five billion litres of rainwater fall on the UBC campus annually. The University also has four watersheds that drain from campus, and sits on a natural aquifer, a porous, layered bed of sand and gravel that holds water.

What You Can Do

Did you know a faucet leaking one drop of water per second wastes 10,000 litres of water a year? You can help UBC to reduce its water consumption by reporting any water leaks on campus, and becoming more aware of the amount of water you use. It’s easy to conserve water at home and at UBC, and your efforts could save thousands of litres.