Santa Barbara
62° F
Santa Maria
56° F
Partly Cloudy
Partly Cloudy
San Luis Obispo
61° F
65° F

UCSB Takes Strides To Conserve Water On Campus

Published On: Apr 21 2014 05:55:13 PM CDT   Updated On: Apr 22 2014 03:18:13 PM CDT

UCSB Takes Strides To Conserve Water On Campus


UC Santa Barbara is doing its part to try to conserve water during the drought and the campus plans to continue the effort long after the rain clouds come back.

"At UCSB, if you look at the entire Santa Barbara area, we are like the 800 pound gorilla that lives here," said Matt O'Carroll with a laugh.

O'Carroll is the water efficiency manager on campus. He's a recent graduate who's thesis at the Bren School of Environmental Science and Management, was to create a UCSB water action plan. He and other students looked into water conservation for the university.

The school has 430 acres of lawn and open space and around 26,000 students and faculty on campus at any given time. Add it up and UCSB uses a lot of water.

"Water is the hot topic right now. The area is facing a drought, a water shortage of all our potable water sources," said O'Carroll.

The with O'Carroll at the helm, the campus is trying to be lean, starting with reducing their share of potable water while increasing the amount of recycled water outside.

"Irrigating 90 percent of our landscape (with recycled water) conserves about 19.5 million gallons of water a year," he said.

New signs on campus near the lawns, are causing some students to take notice.

"A lot of people are not aware of the drought and how bad it is because you still see water in your taps. I think it's nice that there's so much being done, that there's so much being talked about," said Kavitha Nambier, a UCSB graduate student.

The recycled water isn't just used on the grass, some bathrooms use it in combination with low-flow toilets.

Two new residents halls will also have water conscious commodes that will be built right in to the new buildings.

"One of the constraining factors is the infrastructure. We need to plumb these restrooms with recycled water pipes," said O'Carroll.

By the next school year, 5,000 faucet aerators will be installed on sinks across campus to reduce the amount of water that comes out.

"That will save us about 2.9 million gallons annually," he said.

With the ongoing efforts, the water efficiency manager hopes the campus will become a model for surrounding cities.


The views expressed are not those of this company or its affiliated companies. Please note by clicking on "Post" you acknowledge that you have read the Terms Of Service and the comment you are posting is in compliance with such terms. 
blog comments powered by Disqus
  • Santa Barbara County Firefighters Contain Cat Canyon Fire

    Firefighters are currently battling a blaze that broke out in the Cat Canyon area near Siquoc in Santa Barbara County just after 12 p.m.

  • Roadshow Revival keeps Johnny Cash s music alive

    Tribute To Johnny Cash Rocks Ventura

    Roadshow Revival offered Johnny Cash fans a weekend of music inspired by the man in black.

  • Frasier Fire


    Firefighters Snuff Out Brushfire Near Lake Nacimiento

    Quick response contains fire to about 75 acres along Nacimiento Lake Road.

  • Gang Member Arrested For Assault With A Deadly Weapon In Santa Barbara

    Santa Barbara police arrested a known gang member for assault with a deadly weapon and eight other charges on Saturday night.

  • Ventura Man Allegedly Punches Officer

    While being handcuffed, police say man punched an officer and ran off. He was later arrested on multiple charges.

  • Full Containment of the Sherpa Fire Now Expected for July 7

    Scherpa "Sherpa" Fire acreage remains at 7,474 acres with 93% containment as of Monday morning.

  • Counterfeit Bills in Paso Robles

    The Paso Robles Police Department has issued a warning that counterfeit money is in circulation. Over the last two weeks several businesses in the city of Paso Robles have reported receiving counterfeit U.S. currency. The counterfeit bills have been in the following denominations: $20, $10, $5 and $1 bills.

    The majority of these counterfeit bills have been in $20 and $10 denominations. The Paso Robles Police Department is actively investigating all of these events.

    The Police Department reminds business owners and the general public to be diligent in examining any currency they receive. The U.S. Secret Service website provides helpful information to determine if your currency is real or counterfeit. For more information, follow this link:

    If you have any suspicions about the currency you are receiving, please contact the Police Department at (905) 237-6464.

    Anyone with information about these crimes or any person(s) involved is urged to call the PRPD or Crime Stoppers at (805) 549-STOP (549-7867) or submit a Web Tip from the Crime Stoppers website at You can also submit a "TEXT TIP" by texting "slotips" and your message to CRIMES (or 274637). You do not have to give your name. Crime Stoppers will pay a cash reward of up to $1000 for information leading to arrest and conviction, and you can remain anonymous.

  • Lake Cachuma Water Level Hits Record Low

    Without a rainy winter season, the lake may not be able to deliver water by next year.

  • West Virginia flooding from CNN

    West Virginia Department of Transportation

    Deadly floods strike West Virginia

    Heavy rain battered West Virginia early in the week, causing deadly flooding across the state that killed at least 25 people.

  • Pat Summitt with mother

    Doug Benc/Getty Images

    Notable deaths of 2016

    Here's a look at some of the celebrities we've lost so far in 2016.