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Northwestern uses 423 million gallons of water every year. That’s enough to fill nearly 641 Olympic sized swimming pools! NU is working to reduce its campus water usage by at least 25 percent, compared to the 2005 baseline, as well as limit our impact on Lake Michigan and beyond.

Here is how we’re achieving these goals:

Install water-saving devices in campus buildings

We aim to create infrastructure to lessen water waste. We’ve installed the following water-saving equipment on campus:

  • Toilets, faucets, and showerheads fitted with low-water-flow fixtures.
  • Toilets with dual low and high flush valves in newer buildings.

We closely monitor water use across campus, and any abnormalities are quickly investigated and remedied.

Irrigate less

We diligently follow the City of Evanston’s irrigation restrictions on weekdays from 10:00 am to 4:00 pm from May 15 to September 15. This restriction is in effect because plants do not absorb water efficiently, so the water evaporates and is wasted.

Monitor stormwater and run-off

lakefillAs our campus is located on the shores of Lake Michigan, we're dedicated to doing our part to keep it clean and healthy. Stormwater collection and management is a particular focus to prevent harmful run-off. The use of synthetic fertilizer is kept to a minimum, and we frequently test soil and custom blend fertilizer that provides only the lacking nutrients.

Strategic Initiatives

How to Help

  • Shorten your shower by a minute or two to save up to 150 gallons per month.
  • Wash only full loads of laundry.
  • Save up to 8 gallons of water a day by turning off the tap while you brush your teeth and shave.
  • Report leaks to Facilities Management.