September 29, 2014


SUBJECT:    UC San Diego’s Ongoing Commitment to Conserve Water

With California facing one of the most severe droughts on record, UC San Diego has continued to make water conservation one of our greatest priorities. When the State of California and City of San Diego mandated several water use restrictions this summer, the campus took immediate action. In full compliance with these restrictions, we have committed to:

· Stopping water leaks upon discovery or within 72 hours of notification

· Watering before 10 a.m. and after 6 p.m.

· Prohibiting excessive irrigation

· Ensuring all decorative water fountains use recirculating pumps

In addition, we have identified 352,000 square feet of turf to be converted to low/no-water-use landscape using drought-tolerant plants and groundcover. We are in the process of converting nearly half of the area specified—128,000 square feet—which will save an estimated 2.7 million gallons annually. Once all areas are converted, the campus will save approximately 9 million gallons per year. Turf conversion signs have been and will continue to be posted at various sites throughout campus.

These efforts complement the steps we have already taken to significantly reduce our water usage. Some of these steps include:

· Decreasing overall water use by 20 percent over the next five years

· Being a leader in the use of reclaimed water for landscaping – 30 percent is irrigated with recycled water

· Installing efficient water fixtures and irrigation equipment

· Reducing watering schedules campus wide

· Ensuring that new construction and renovations meet Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) standards

· Converting the Central Utility Plant to a recycled water system, which will save the campus an estimated 150 million gallons of potable water annually once completed.

While the campus is making every effort to reduce water consumption through operations, each one of us must do our part to conserve this valuable resource. Every action, from taking a shorter shower to turning off the faucet while washing your hands, makes a difference. If you see a water leak on campus, report it online at or call the Facilities Management Customer Relations Help Desk at (858) 534-2930.

To learn more about water conservation measures at UC San Diego and water-saving tips, visit

We greatly appreciate your support and understanding during these difficult times. Together, we can continue to make progress in conserving one of our most important resources.

Gary C. Matthews
Vice Chancellor