Water Conservation

I.  Policy

The purpose of this policy is to guide the operations of the university in order to achieve the highest standards in water usage with consideration of the impact on environmental quality and economic performance. To accomplish this goal, the university shall establish procedures to consider water use in the design and operation of university facilities in the most economical and environmentally friendly manner possible, educate the university community on the use of water, and consider water use in purchasing decisions and transportation. The benefits gained include, but are not limited to, protection of ecosystems, improvement of air and water quality, reduction of waste, and conservation of resources. The University is committed to water conservation that will lower costs and reduce the impact of excessive use throughout campuses and properties.  UMW purchases 90% of its water from the City of Fredericksburg and 10% from Stafford County.

II. Methods to Achieve Water Conservation Efficiency

  1. Ensure all water fixtures are equipped with low flow appliances under a campus wide performance contract. (Early efforts related to these changes resulted in UMW’s water usage being reduced by half.
  2. Continue to strive for new technologies and install them in all renovated and new construction.
  3. Repair building leaks on an emergency request.
  4. Monitor water bills for unseen problems with over-usage.
  5. Faculty, staff, and students are required to report any plumbing leaks that are observed to Facilities Services through the Facilities Services Work Management System.
  6. Facilities Services will conduct regular reviews of plumbing systems to ensure any leaks are repaired quickly.
  7. Facilities Services will utilize the most efficient use and timing of irrigation when watering campus vegetation and landscaping.

Facilities Services will use Water Sense fixtures as required by the Bureau of Capital Outlay Management.

Water Conservation Measures

Mary Washington’s unique position in the Chesapeake Bay watershed presents us with great responsibilities for conservation, and great opportunities to preserve this unique estuary. We strive to do this through water-saving retrofits, storm water management outreach, and raparian buffer restoration.


The second Energy Conservation Measure (ECM) undertaken by UMW in the performance contract with NORESCO was water conservation. The contract included an energy audit and outlined ECMs to be put in place through a partnership of NORESCO contractors and UMW Facilities Services. The water conservation measure or ECM2 has resulted in multiple changes to our water fixtures and water usage through out the University.

  • 1,033 toilet fixtures with an average water flush of 3.4 to 5 gallons of water were replaced with fixtures that use exactly 1.6 gallons per flush
  • Sink faucets and shower heads were replaced to reduce the average flow from 3.1 gallons per minute to new rates of 2.2 gallons in kitchens, 1.5 gallons in resident’s rooms and apartments and 0.5 gallons in general use sinks
  • Customer comfort was improved when old dual fixtures, with separate faucets for hot and cold water, were replaced with dedicated hot and cold faucets enabling the water temperature to be blended
  • All porcelain fixtures were recycled
  • Significant maintenance savings due to the quality of fixtures, auto reset on flush valves and reduced stock inventory due to continuity of brands
  • The ECM2 initiative is scheduled to pay for its self in 6 years and has reduced campus water consumption by 50%
  • UMW and NORESC0’s water conservation efforts have resulted in the reduction of greenhouse gases equivalent to the removal of 31 cars from the road, the annual gases produced by 15 households in a year and the planting of 42 acres of trees.