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Water & Ecology

The changing climate puts water and ecological resources at risk—from increased pollutants to loss of biodiversity. Strain on these resources comes from rising temperatures, stormwater runoff, shifts in flora and fauna habitat, changing precipitation patterns, and other extreme weather events. Reducing potable water consumption is key to enhancing the long-term sustainability of not just Northwestern’s campus, but the Evanston and Chicago communities as a whole.

The Water and Ecology Program Area enhances Northwestern’s strategies around water and ecology. In addition to supporting water conservation efforts, this Program Area aims to have a regenerative impact by fostering local biodiversity.


  • Northwestern’s goal is to conserve water and foster low-impact, diverse, and resilient landscapes.

Actions in Progress

  • on-track

    Establish a water conservation plan, prioritizing the installation of submeters and/or smart meters at high-use campus buildings and outdoor areas.

  • on-track

    Continue to minimize stormwater runoff via Low Impact Design (LID), including rain gardens and permeable pavement in new development.

What You Can Do

Get Involved

Rally your friends and colleagues, and help us make sustainable living a part of our campus culture. Visit the Take Action page to learn about ways to get started.

Take Action