Chapman's olympic-size pool with red banners across it
Chapman Sustainability

» Water Conservation

picture of Escalette Plaza at Chapman University

In order to help the local community exercise smart water conservation practices, here are a few of the many ways to lessen water consumption and water waste:

  • Have a pet at home? Don’t pour the water left in their water bowl down the drain; use it to water potted plants.
  • recent model dish washer will use 5-9 gallons of water, while an older model can use between 10-15 gallons. Remember to only wash full loads.
  • It takes 12,009 gallons of water to raise one pound of meat, while it takes 60 gallons of water to raise one pound of potatoes. Consider participating in Meatless Monday to reduce your water footprint.
  • Turn on the irrigation system and walk around the yard to make sure there are no emitters or sprinkler heads that are broken, clogged, or misaligned. Wasted water can quickly add up over time.
  • If you are using a 1.5 gpm showerhead and reduce your shower time by 1 minute, you’ll save 548 gallons of water a year. If you reduce your shower by 3 minutes, that saves 1,642 gallons of water.
  • Adjust the lawn mower to cut at a height between 1.5 and 2 inches. A taller grass height provides more shade for roots and it holds soil moisture much better than shorter grass.
  • For many more ideas on water conservation in the home, visit the Water- Use it Wisely website.

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Chapman's Drought Response

In January of 2014, Governor Brown declared a State of Emergency because the drought conditions in California were so severe. At that time he asked Californian residents to voluntarily reduce water consumption by 20%. Through a combination of increased rainfall and conservation measures, Gov. Brown was able to remove the state of emergency. However, it is important to remember that Orange County is still listed as abnormally dry on the US Drought Monitor.

Prior to the state of emergency declaration, Chapman's Sustainability Department was studying campus water use and looking for ways to conserve water. Our efforts were successful and water consumption fell by nearly 50% by reducing our use of power washing to clean buildings and sidewalks, installing native drought-friendly landscaping, putting in a weather-based irrigation system around the dorms and retrofitting on-campus housing.

graph of main campus water use

The numbers from the following buildings on the main campus are added together to form the cumulative numbers shown in the chart: DeMille Hall, Reeves Hall, Argyros Forum, Beckman Hall, Smith Hall, Wilkinson Hall

Drought Resources

The following links lead to information on the recently ended California drought as well as additional ways to save water and money at the same time. News articles published on the topic are also a great resource for those looking to stay on top of the latest developments.