beautiful poppies in bloom

SJSU Wins Silicon Valley Water Conservation Award

beautiful poppies in bloom

SJSU will soon use recycled water for landscape irrigation on the main campus.

By Amanda Holst, Public Affairs Assistant

Hard work by many SJSU community members involved in our sustainability initiatives has paid off. The campus has saved thousands of gallons of water, and won a prestigious award.

“It’s good recognition for the efforts that are being undertaken by facilities and other departments on this issue in general,” said Jared Isaacson, energy analyst for SJSU’s Facilities Development and Operations group.

The Silicon Valley Water Conservation Awards recognize organizations, agencies, businesses and individuals who have made outstanding advances in water conservation efforts.

A 14-member coalition panel comprised of local, city, and state environmental organizations chose SJSU because of its conservation leadership and over 200 courses and academic resources related to sustainability.

For over ten years, SJSU has used recycled water to cool its central power plant and irrigate the athletic fields on South Campus, saving 40 million gallons of potable water and more than $100,000 in water and chemical costs annually. The re-piping and technical changes mean SJSU is on track to reduce its potable water use by more than 45 percent.

“Our facilities people took the time to figure out what was needed to make that change, and they have really been a leader in this area,” said Katherine Cushing, director of sustainability.

According to Cushing, winning this award reiterates SJSU plays an important role in educating the public on water conservation and sustainability. The award also shows students can get involved by taking advantage of related classes.

Beginning this month, King Library will use recycled water for toilet and urinal flushing, estimated to save five million gallons of potable water per year.

Irrigation for landscaping on the main campus is also being converted to recycled water, a process that will be completed this fall.

The Water Conservation Award will be presented on World Water Day March 22 at the Milpitas Silicon Valley Humane Society.