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Water

water heading

Clean water is a finite natural resource. Even Tasmania, with an apparent wealth of freshwater, goes through drought periods, which see significant drops in water storage in its vast lakes and waterways. Sustainable water management is about ensuring the availability of quality water in the future.

The University of Tasmania is formed by a large community, including staff, students, contractors and visitors. All groups use water in different activities including daily needs, cleaning or research activities. In addition, landscapes (including sporting fields) on all campuses require irrigation.

Plans and policies

The University is committed to reduce water consumption and pollution, and this is reflected in several documents:

  • The Sustainable Built Environment Design Policy dictates that Environmentally Sustainable Design principles, including improving water efficiency and reducing overall water use, should be included in new and refurbished built environments on University campuses.
  • University’s landscaping providers are required to be water efficient by contract.
  • The Chemical Management Procedure specifies the proper way to dispose of hazardous chemicals to avoid pollution, in accordance with the relevant State and local regulations

Reporting

UTAS is a member of Tertiary Education Facilities Management Association (TEFMA) which requires Universities to report annually on a range of activities, including sustainability factors such as water management.

Carbon neutral certification

The University of Tasmania was the second University to be certified carbon neutral in Australia. Greenhouse gas emissions from University’s water consumption and wastewater disposal are calculated, reported and offset.

The energy intensity of water use (also called virtual or embedded/embodied energy) is the total amount of energy required for the use of a given amount of water in a specific location. This includes the energy required for water treatment and distribution, as well as wastewater treatment and disposal. Therefore, using only the water that you need will contribute to reducing the University’s greenhouse gas emissions.

UTAS has water harvesting and water efficiency infrastructure currently in place across its three campuses, such as rainwater tanks at Newnham and Inveresk, dual-flush toilets and low flush urinals in many buildings (not yet across the board) and has been installing water efficient fittings in all new buildings since 2009. Over the coming years, it is envisaged that water harvesting capacity and water efficiency will continue to improve through infrastructure upgrades and behaviour change initiatives

Water consumption and wastewater data

There are a number of ways to save water, and they all start with you. Remember, every drop counts!

All staff and students

  • Report leaking toilets and faucets. To report a leak, please contact Campus Services (Campus.Services@utas.edu.au). A silent toilet leak could waste from 100 to 1,000 litres every day!
  • Don't use the toilet as a trash can. Each time you flush the toilet you use up to 9 litres of clean water.
  • Bring a refillable water bottle to campus to avoid using a drinking fountain that can use more water than a person drinks.
  • When using a drinking fountain, let go of the button/handle when pausing for a breath.

Residents

  • Take shorter showers. Take a timer, clock, or stopwatch into the bathroom with you and challenge yourself to cut down your showering time. Three to four minute showers is a best practice goal.
  • Wait until you have a full load of clothes before you wash them. Also, be sure to use the economy mode and this will save both water and electricity! You can save up to 3,000 litres a month.
  • Turn the tap off while you are brushing your teeth, shaving, doing dishes, and so on.
  • Soak pots and pans instead of letting the water run while you scrape them clean.
  • Wash your fruits and vegetables in a pan of water instead of running water from the tap.
  • Don't use running water to thaw food. Defrost food in the refrigerator for water efficiency and food safety or, if you are in a hurry, use the defrost function of the microwave oven.
  • Report leaking toilets and faucets. To report a leak, please contact Campus Services (Campus.Services@utas.edu.au). A silent toilet leak could waste from 100 to 1,000 litres every day!
  • Don't use your toilet as a trash can. Each time you flush the toilet you use up to 9 litres of clean water.

To support sustainable transport initiatives, please download this poster and display it in your area:

For more information on sustainable transport, contact water.utas@utas.edu.au.