Fountains across campus to be shut off due to drought
THE SANTA CLARA
April 23, 2015
In celebration of Earth Day yesterday, students signed a “60 Seconds Less” pledge, an initiative launched to get students to take shorter showers and save water during a critical state-wide drought.
Associated Student Government and the Center for Sustainability kicked off the “60 Seconds Less” campaign by setting up fake shower stalls and signs with tips on how to take “Navy showers” at an Earth Day booth, to establish a personal connection with water use and demonstrate that students can easily help reduce the amount of water they consume.
Navy showers run as little water as possible: Turn on the water quickly to get wet, turn off the water while soaping up and washing your hair. Make sure to run the water for only a short period of time to rinse off.
“We are really hoping to continue this as long as the Center for Sustainability is here, because the drought is obviously something that is just not going to end,” said sophomore ASG senator Areany Tolentino. She first envisioned the campaign after reading about a NASA scientist who predicted that California only has one year’s supply of reservoir water left.
She pitched the idea to the the Center for Sustainability a few weeks ago, and the two groups immediately got to work.
Santa Clara recently ranked 19th in Princeton Review’s Top 50 Green Schools list for 2015, third in College Raptor’s Top 25 Green Campuses of 2015 and beat out Google in 2014 for the Acterra Business Environmental Award (one of the most prestigious environmental awards in the Silicon Valley). Now, the school is continuing to do its part to conserve water and fight the drought.
The Benson Fountain will be drained and turned off on May 1, and the the St. Ignatius and Abby Sobrato fountains will be converted to recycled water as soon as the university designs new plumbing infrastructure and obtains permits to run the fountains with recycled water, according to Lindsey Kalkbrenner, director of the Center for Sustainability.
“Turning off the fountains is a very visual way to see water is no longer ubiquitous in California,” said Kalkbrenner. “It’s a symbolic gesture to show that water is not omnipresent.”
Kalkbrenner said the amount of water the university conserves really depends on whether or not students limit the amount of water they use. Showerhead fixtures designed to release only 1.5 gallons of water per minute have already been installed in dorm bathrooms.
“That behavior change is a component that we can’t force,” said Kalkbrenner. “We have to just invite people. That’s really the only way we can get behaviors to change voluntarily.”
Contact Mallory Miller at memiller @scu.edu or call (408) 554-4852.