Students Awarded Sustainability Grant to Reduce Water Consumption

Students Awarded Sustainability Grant to Reduce Water Consumption

A group of five students from the Environment, Technology and Economy program are working to install water meters in North Campus residence hall showers to educate students about water usage and reduce their water consumption. 

The Office of Sustainability awarded the team, known as Team Shower Power, a $4,260 grant to fund the project.

"[The grant] is funding purchasing of the shower meters and purchasing of the materials for the educational campaign component,” said Jada Mosley, a sophomore English and environmental science and policy major. “So once we actually have data, we can tell them [students] what the shower meters are actually for and we can tell them how they can reduce their water use.”

Shower meters will measure how many gallons are used per shower based on time. Once Team Shower Power has collected data from the meters, they will provide insights and suggestions for eco-friendly shower lengths.

Team Shower Power started their Shower Meters to Reduce Water Consumption Project in their freshman ETE colloquium, but continue working on the project as an independent study. 

Sophomore economics major Mark Mao first came up with the idea for installing shower meters after he realized he was wasting water by taking lengthy showers. Mao saw a need to find an efficient way to let students know if their showers were running over time. 

“Our bottom line is to reduce water usage on campus, but more importantly, we want to promote awareness of water conservation,” Mao said. “We hope that by getting students to think about reducing water waste and waste overall, we can help them find avenues to be more sustainable and help the school reach the president’s 2020 initiative."

The water meters will be installed on mixed gender floors to analyze different patterns in men’s and women’s shower lengths. The meters will have red, yellow and green light indicators to show students when their showers are reaching overconsumption.

Team Shower Power is working with Facilities Management and the Office of Sustainability to install the meters in Elkton and Denton Halls by spring 2017. 

“Our end goal is to have [the meters] in every on-campus dorm,” Mosley said.

Team Shower Power hopes to pass down the project to other ETE students after graduation.

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