Water: Economic Sustainability 

  • Environmental Health and Safety walks campus waterways once a year to proactively identify and address any potential problems with pipes.
  • On average, Transportation Services conducts 30-100 car washes per day for its vehicles. To save money and reduce its water use, Transportation Services recently installed an automated car wash system with adjustable settings that better manages water efficiency.
  • The university owns a 500-gallon rainwater collector, nicknamed "the water bubble," which reduces costs related to the upkeep of campus' landscapes.
  • Technology that manages water consumption is used to save money by making use of a tool, housed at the university-owned Veenker Memorial Golf Course, which measures humidity and gives the best time (when necessary) to irrigate plants.
  • Iowa State utilizes local ecotype plants that are resilient to local weather conditions, thus reducing the need and cost of irrigation, as well as pest management.

"'Best Management Practices' is the big term in stormwater, which is the minimum that you have to do. We always strive to do a little better—what we should do, not what we have to do. And usually that's the best route to take. It might cost a little more in the long run, but if you do it right the first time you don't have to do it two or three times. Doing the right thing is more cost-effective than doing the minimal."

-Steven Mayberry, Environmental Health and Safety Assistant Manager