From an article by Ross Chambless in the summer 2012 issue of Continuum magazine
For decades, the University of Utah irrigated its manicured Kentucky bluegrass lawns using culinary water from Salt Lake City. Excess rain and snowmelt runoff was channeled away through storm drains, sometimes adding to erosion or pollution problems downstream. But in recent years, the U’s Plant Operations realized that the campus could save money while keeping the lawns green by capturing the runoff water.
“We asked, ‘What would it take for campus to run all of its operations without using any more water than what naturally falls on campus all year?’ ” says Cory Higgins, director of Plant Operations. The idea grew into a goal of achieving “water neutrality” by 2020: The campus aims to harvest and retain for irrigation the annual average 18 inches of rain and snow that falls on its 600 acres of land.
But there are challenges to becoming water neutral. Find out more here.