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WATERWISE FOR U


#Usavewater – Help Save Water across Campus

Faculty, staff and students can assist with our water-conservation efforts, as Landscape teams are stretched across our 1,500 acres of campus.  If you notice a broken or rogue sprinkler, watering during the day, or have other water concerns, please:

  • Call the U Facilities’ Customer Service Center at 801-581-7221
  • Tag @UofUFM on Twitter with a photo and location of the issue using hashtag #Usavewater.

The University of Utah’s Landscape Master Plan encourages a cohesive landscaping design that is responsive and adaptable to ongoing development and climate change.  Utah has been experiencing varying levels of drought for many years (explore drought conditions at drought.gov), and the University continues to plan and adapt to changing environmental factors accordingly:

SMART IRRIGATION SYSTEMS

The University’s Landscape Maintenance team has been consistently upgrading its irrigation systems to the best technology for years.  In 2018, a large project to install WeatherTRAK smart controllers led to a dramatic reduction in outdoor water usage by 25% while saving on labor and maintenance costs.

Manage irrigation from smartphones and laptops

DORMANT TURF

Brown grass doesn’t mean dead grass.  The U’s waterwise irrigation schedule encourages grass to go dormant, which means campus lawns will survive the brutal heat waves of summer and bounce back with cooler temperatures and rain.

Dormant grass that will survive

WATERWISE LANDSCAPING

U teams continue the strategy of replacing turf grass with waterwise plants and sustainable landscaping.  This is a collaborative effort amongst the U Facilities teams of Campus Planning, Sustainability & Energy, and Landscape Maintenance to identify and finance not only the replacement of existing turf but ensuring that new construction projects implement waterwise designs for the future.

Kahlert Village waterwise landscaping

CAMPUS AS A LIVING LAB – BIOGRASS

The U Facilities team is experimenting with new applications of BIOGRASS in high-traffic areas.  BIOGRASS is a sod that is specifically engineered to adapt to high-desert climates.  This grass can withstand extreme temperatures and dry spells, surviving in extreme drought conditions.  Like any sod, it requires an attentive watering schedule at first, but once established, it becomes genuinely waterwise with minimal maintenance and water usage.

BIOGRASS at the new Huntsman Center parking lot