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Water Efficiency at UCSF

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Parnassus                                                                 Mission Bay

In response to water efficiency policies implemented by the UC system during the recent drought, UCSF has developed a comprehensive water efficiency strategy, which is referenced in the UCSF Water Action Plan.

UCSF Water Action Plan
UCOP Sustainable Practices Policy

Water Efficiency Projects
Water efficiency projects are identified by installing water meters, and establishing baseline water consumption data. Projects are evaluated based on return on investment of water and energy savings.

  • Sterilizers
    UCSF has prioritized the replacement of sterilizers as a water efficiency priority. Sterilizers, also referred to as autoclaves, can consume between 125,000-1,000,000 gallons of water per year due to once-through water cooling. Sterilizers which break down impact research, as media may not be properly sterilized. Facilities Services has established an incentive program for laboratories to replace sterilizers, which also works with the San Francisco Water Department Incentive Program.
  • Water Metering
    UCSF is installing smart meters, which are tied into the building management system, across the campus. This advanced metering infrastructure will enable the development of advanced analytics to identify efficiency opportunities and monitor system performance.
  • Awards

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Laboratory Water Efficiency

Sterilizers                    Glasswashers         
          Vacuum Aspirators        

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Since 2014, Housing has been replacing showerheads with high efficiency models and installing aerators on faucets. As a result, water consumption has been reduced by 14%.
Learn more about Sustainability in Housing

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  • Pool Filtration
    The Fitness Center installed an ultraviolet filtration system, which allows them to only drain the pool when maintenance is required. Previously, the pools had to be drained and refreshed with new water.
  • Shower Efficiency
    Fitness encourages all members to limit their showers to 3 minutes or less. If members have children using the facility for swim lessons, parents are asked to make sure children also limit showers to 3 minutes or less.

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  • Efficient Landscape

    UCSF landscape irrigation is managed by software which controls watering according to precipitation and evapotranspiration rates. Currently, irrigation is about 3% of total water consumption. A pilot project is under way to assess the conversion of a turf landscape area into drought tolerant planting.

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    Years leading up to the 2015 drought

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    Hetch Hetchy Regional Water System

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    SF Water

  • SF Water Department Website