While floods (and snow) continue to ravage our state, it may seem like an odd time to talk about conserving water. People can’t wait for the waters to recede and rebuilding to begin, but water systems are being compromised and our friends and family don’t have potable water to drink. Every drop of water that is wasted is water that could be used to help or conserved to lighten the load on already strained systems. This is true all of the time, but more important now than ever.
LiveGreen is asking for your help conserving water with our spring campaign: Every Drop Counts. As you may know, the Med Center has set an ambitious goal to achieve a neutral water footprint by 2030. That means using the same amount of water (or less) w than the annual amount that falls on campus as rain and snow. To achieve this goal, the Med Center needs to reduce water use to 104 million gallons per year. Currently we use about 188 million gallons per year. That sounds like a big reduction, but we’ve already made great strides with a 17% reduction from our 2010 baseline of 225 million gallons—and we did that while adding new buildings.
While our water goal was based on being good stewards, as clean water is critical for good heath, this campaign is especially timely given the fact that MUD recently announced they will be increasing rates 19% for commercial water use and 7% for all residential customers. Conserving water allows us to put resources to better things, and saves you money.
From now to April 30th, we are asking you to think of ways you can conserve water at work, communicate your actions and ideas to conserve water with your peers, and then use all that apply to conserve water. Please share them with LiveGreen@unmc.edu so we can add them to our site to further spread the word. Even if you think your idea is ‘old news’ or common knowledge, share it! The more people that conserve water, the bigger the effect, and the better for everyone. While conserving water is important, we will never compromise handwashing technique or other infection control practices.