Facilities Development & Operations

Water Conservation
Water Conservation Measures at SJSU

California faces a severe water shortage, and we all need to assist in conservation efforts.  Fortunately, SJSU has been implementing conservation measures for some time.

Below are some historical water usage numbers or SJSU.

Year                 Fresh Water (in gal.)          Recycled Water (in gal.)       
2010/11 153,000,000 36,000,000
2011/12 134,000,000 50,000,000
2012/13 116,000,000 71,000,000


Here are some of the measures already implemented and some plans for the future.

Here is what we've done:

  • FD&O switched to recycled water for landscape irrigation and for MLK Library toilets in 2011/12.  This effort saves 65,000,000 gallons of potable water annually. 
  • We have implemented a dual plumbing system into three of the current construction projects; Spartan Complex, Student Union, and the Student Health Center, thereby providing recycled water for all toilets in these buildings. This will result in additional savings of potable water.
  • The central plant cooling tower utilizes recycled water, saving large amounts of potable water.
  • We recently installed over 400 low flow toilets, made possible via grant money. These low flow toilets use 1.5 gallons per flush rather than 7 gallons previously used, thereby reducing water usage by 80%.

Here is what we can do:

  • We are exploring converting the Central Plant direct steam system to recycled water. The lease of the required equipment which would generate a savings of 6.5 million gallons annually.
  • We are looking into the replacement of more toilets with low flow units.
  • New state regulations reduce the frequency in which state vehicles are washed. FD&O will comply with these regulations.
  • Students, faculty and staff can turn off running water whenever possible, report water leaks as soon as seen, and report running toilets as soon as seen.

We considered shutting off the water fountains, however, since the water savings would be a couple of gallons a day, decided the campus would benefit more from the continued access.

It's important to note that SJSU supplies its potable water from its own well, which is 600 feet underground.  As such, our water source is not impacted by the drought like other water sources.  Nonetheless, we should create good habits and still strive to conserve where we can.

Sustainability Presentation
Sustainability Presentation to Young Cultural Ambassador’s Program

On Wednesday, January 22, FD&O and the College of Engineering hosted the Young Cultural Ambassadors, a group of 80 students, 7 to 11 years of age, from China. The students were approaching the end of a 3 week visit in the US as a cultural exchange program.

Due to the increasing number of environmental issues affecting their country, the students were incredibly curious and eager to learn about the university's sustainability policies and activities.  As such, Debbie Andres, our FD&O Sustainability Analyst held a presentation for the Young Ambassador’s. 

The vision of this exchange was to introduce sustainable practices to the next generation so that they can affect change in their country. Many of them had never heard of practices such as composting, recycling water and LED lighting. The ambassadors spent 2 hours learning about the LEED certified Martin Luther King, Jr. Library, the recycled water usage on campus, the campus cogeneration plant and the Sustainable Agriculture program through the Environmental Studies department. The ambassadors concluded their visit with a tour of MLK Library and the Environmental Studies' Sustainable Agriculture garden.  The presentation was a huge success.