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Thursday, May 22, 2014

UCSC Mandatory Water Rationing

On May 1st, Chancellor George Blumenthal sent out information about UCSC's mandatory water rationing. Because our state is in a serious drought, I would like to emphasize and forward along the information in the following message.

In February, the Santa Cruz City Council called for a voluntary 20 percent reduction in water usage. However, effective May 1st — the city's water rationing program has become mandatory and the overall reduction goal has climbed to 25 percent.

Throughout the city's water service area, residents are reducing and monitoring their water use in order to comply with this mandate. Faced with a similar reduction of approximately 25 percent, the campus is doing the same. For the past several months, an on-campus working group has met regularly to implement emergency water-reduction strategies and monitor compliance through detailed reporting. Our residential staff members have distributed educational materials about the need to conserve, 5-minute shower timers, and other water-reduction aids.

Our students are at the forefront of many of these water-conservation activities. The Student Environmental Center has launched the "Drop Your Own Drip" campaign, which includes a friendly competition among colleges and residential halls to see who can save the most water.

There are a number of ways you can reduce your own consumption. To assist you, a special campus website has been created that includes water-conservation tips, information about related campus activities, and other resources. 

Longer term, Chancellor George Blumenthal has been charged a new task force with identifying water-management practices and new infrastructure that will support the campus's and UC's water sustainability goals. Members of the Water Conservation Task Force, including co-chairs Brent Haddad, professor of environmental studies and technology management, and Sarah Latham, vice chancellor for business and administrative services, will be helping to support these long-term goals.

However, that work will not address the current water emergency. Meeting that challenge requires an immediate commitment from each and every one of us. Please do your part now to reduce demand on the city's water system. Thank you very much for your help.

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