Protecting and conserving water is important because the campus rests in a high desert that receives low annual rainfall. The University is committed to implementing best practices that reduce water use and increase conservation efforts.

What the University is Doing

Water Conservation in Buildings

New buildings on campus are required to achieve 30 percent more indoor water efficiency than a baseline building. All new fixtures, such as toilets, faucets, showers, and urinals, must be EPA WaterSense labeled. Water fixtures existing buildings are also getting retrofitted with high-efficiency fixtures. Additionally, all new buildings contain water meters that record the building’s water use both indoors and outdoors, which helps campus target high-use buildings to become more efficient and to identify and fix leaks. If there is a leaking faucet or running toilet in your building, call Dispatch at 801-581-7221 to reduce wasted water.

Landscape Irrigation

Landscape Maintenance installed a high-efficiency, central computer-based irrigation system in 2012 called Maxicom that helps to optimize irrigation needs on campus. Irrigation on campus occurs only between the hours of 6 p.m. to 10 a.m. The only exceptions to this are with new projects where the landscape is watered as needed until establishment, or when the irrigation system is tested and maintained.


Landscape Maintenance has implemented several low water use turf, water-wise, and xeric landscaping initiatives. In addition, Landscape Maintenance is removing a certain amount of turf grass every year in order to install more water-wise, native, and drought tolerant plants, and they are implementing hydrozoning by grouping plants and shrubs with similar water needs to reduce irrigation demand. If you spot a broken sprinkler head, call Dispatch at 801-581-7221 to reduce wasted water.

Red Butte Creek

Red Butte Creek at the University of Utah provides wildlife habitat and educational opportunities within our urban environment. The creek faces multiple challenges ranging from streamside maintenance to stormwater pollution. The student group, Friends of Red Butte Creek, is working with the Global Change & Sustainability Center to test the and to start developing a restoration plan.

U Water Center

The U Water Center builds the educational and professional capacity of partner institutions in order to support global water security. Through these partnerships it develops curriculum enhancements, fosters one-to-one mentorships and researches partnerships, as well as develops trainings for students, faculty and professionals.

What You Can Do

There are several ways you can reduce your personal water consumption, which include actions like shorter showers, fixing or reporting any leaks, and switching to high-efficiency toilets.

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