University of California Irvine: UCI receives Excellence in Action Award for water conservation

UCI and the Irvine Ranch Water District were honored with the 2022 Award of Excellence from the WateReuse Association. The national award recognizes UCI’s long-standing partnership with the IRWD as one of its earliest partners in the Water Star business program using IRWD recycled water on campus for more than five decades.

The award notes: “Irvine Ranch Water District and the University of California, Irvine are celebrating more than 50 years of recycled water partnership with the completion of the university’s Central Plant Recycled Water Conversion. The project uses cooling towers to chill air-conditioning water for 65 buildings across campus. It involved installation of 3,500 feet of new recycled water pipeline and other improvements to convert the system for recycled water use. The Central Plant saves an additional 80 million gallons of drinking water per year and allows the university to exceed its stretch goal of halving per capita drinkable water demand by 2025.”

The collaboration on water-saving work included converting campus cooling to recycled water, saving 80 million gallons of drinking water each year, turf replacement, drought-tolerant landscaping, and high-efficiency fixtures on campus, saving another 300 million gallons of drinking water a year. These and other projects have already pushed UCI well beyond the University of California’s policy goal to cut water use 26 percent by 2025.