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  • AASHE-STARS

The Sustainability Tracking, Assessment & Rating System™ (STARS) is a transparent, self-reporting framework for colleges and universities to measure their sustainability performance.

Overall Rating Silver
Overall Score 51.12
Liaison Matthew Williams
Submission Date June 30, 2017
Executive Letter Download

STARS v2.0

University of Florida
OP-26: Water Use

Status Score Responsible Party
Complete 1.14 / 4.00 Liz Storn
Program Coordinator
Office of Sustainability
"---" indicates that no data was submitted for this field

Level of water risk for the institution’s main campus:
Medium to High

Total water use (potable and non-potable combined)::
Performance Year Baseline Year
Total water use 816,352,540 Gallons 853,924,512.10 Gallons

Potable water use::
Performance Year Baseline Year
Potable water use 816,352,540 Gallons 853,924,512.10 Gallons

Figures needed to determine "Weighted Campus Users"::
Performance Year Baseline Year
Number of residential students 8,491 8,202
Number of residential employees 4 4
Number of in-patient hospital beds 0 0
Full-time equivalent enrollment 46,302.50 44,967.50
Full-time equivalent of employees 13,889.01 12,125.91
Full-time equivalent of distance education students 7,690.02 368

Gross floor area of building space::
Performance Year Baseline Year
Gross floor area 22,404,996 Square Feet 17,436,606 Square Feet

Area of vegetated grounds::
Performance Year Baseline Year
Vegetated grounds 781 Acres 830 Acres

Start and end dates of the performance year and baseline year (or three-year periods):
Start Date End Date
Performance Year July 1, 2014 June 30, 2015
Baseline Year July 1, 2004 June 30, 2005

A brief description of when and why the water use baseline was adopted:

FY 2004-2005 was used as our baseline for previous STARS submittals, in addition to being required for the Sierra Cool Schools submittal


Water recycled/reused on campus, performance year:
286,600,000 Gallons

Recycled/reused water withdrawn from off-campus sources, performance year:
0 Gallons

A brief description of any water recovery and reuse systems employed by the institution:

At least one building on campus uses harvested rainwater for irrigation of the green roof. The majority of the runoff from that building is harvested – stored in two 1,550 gallon cisterns and used for the drip irrigation system for the roof plantings. When rainfall is scarce during the extremely dry months of the year and the stored water is depleted, irrigation water is available from the University’s reclaimed water supply. As such, this design is a model of water conservation efficiency since no potable water is utilized.

UF uses reclaimed water irrigation for 98% of its irrigation. the reclaimed water is from university's 3MGD wastewater treatment plan. every day over 2 million gallons of effluent is generated, 1M gallons used for irrigation on campus, and the other effluent is used for FL aquifer recharge.


A brief description of any water metering and management systems employed by the institution:

Many newer, LEED certified buildings on campus have building-level water meters. Residence Halls are also metered independently.


A brief description of any building retrofit practices employed by the institution, e.g. to install high efficiency plumbing fixtures and fittings:
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A brief description of any policies or programs employed by the institution to replace appliances, equipment and systems with water-efficient alternatives:
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A brief description of any water-efficient landscape design practices employed by the institution (e.g. xeriscaping):

Physical Plant's Grounds Department is constantly searching for ways to reduce the amount of water necessary to irrigate the thousands of plants on campus. To that end, Grounds employs a strategy called xeriscaping to help cut down on water usage.

Xeriscaping is a landscaping philosophy that emphasizes using native and drought-resistant plants which do not require supplemental irrigation. Xeriscaped areas also require little maintenance and soil preparation to survive.

PPD Landscaping/Groundskeeping Superintendent Marty Werts said, "We're very committed to reducing our water usage in landscape design at Grounds. I would estimate that 80% of the landscape projects we implement are xeriscaped, and more than half of those designs incorporate primarily native plants." Native plants offer unique advantages, according to Werts. "We can greatly reduce the labor time involved in caring for landscaped areas using natives," he explains. "They're much more hardy because they're used to the climate and the soil - we don't have to amend the soil prior to planting. Also, they're very efficient when it comes to watering - most native plants can get by with just rainwater and don't have to be irrigated constantly."


A brief description of any weather-informed irrigation technologies employed by the institution:
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A brief description of other water conservation and efficiency strategies employed by the institution:
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The website URL where information about the institution’s water conservation and efficiency initiatives is available:
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The information presented here is self-reported. While AASHE staff review portions of all STARS reports and institutions are welcome to seek additional forms of review, the data in STARS reports are not verified by AASHE. If you believe any of this information is erroneous or inconsistent with credit criteria, please review the process for inquiring about the information reported by an institution and complete the Data Inquiry Form.