As a large, research-intensive university, we consume a significant amount of water—about 3.7 billion litres per year in 2016/17 (including market housing), enough to fill 1,600 Olympic-sized swimming pools. In 2016/17, UBC achieved a 47 per cent reduction in water consumption in institutional buildings compared to 2000 levels (adjusted for growth), which translated to a 66 per cent decrease on a per student basis. 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.

Progress on Water Conservation

UBC has achieved steady reductions in water consumption, despite continued campus growth, over the last number of years. 

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 stormwater is a resource than can be managed, not wasted.

Vancouver’s climate is rainy, with approximately five billion litres of rain falling on the UBC campus annually. Instead of flushing this water away through underground storm sewers, the University uses it as a resource to enhance our campus.

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.