The world runs on water. SCU is working to ensure our water quality is managed to support our diverse ecosystems and that the amount of water we use is minimised. In 2014, SCU is conducting a water audit of our Lismore campus to ensure we are making the most of this precious resource and identify areas where we could showcase new and innovative water management technologies.
What is the University doing?
High quality, potable water is provided to Southern Cross University campuses by municipal water authorities. Sadly much of this high quality water goes down the drain via our bathrooms and kitchens. To reduce the amount of potable water consumed by SCU, stormwater on Lismore and Coffs Harbour Campuses is collected in retention ponds and used for landscaping, drought proofing and irrigation on grounds and sporting fields as required.
A number of water efficiency measures such as dual flush toilets, low flush urinals, flow restrictors and timers on taps have also reduced the amount of potable water consumed in the University.
Key principles of Water Sensitive Urban Design have been used in the planning and construction of the Gold Coast campus, including:
- The enhancement the site's existing natural features and ecological processes;
- Adoption of natural overland flow path characteristics through drainage swales that hold and direct surface water;
- Protecting the water quality of surface and groundwater by retaining a large proportion of permeable surfaces throughout the campus. Particular areas of gain include the utilisation of permeable car park pavements and possible green roofs;
- Minimising the demand on the Gold Coast's reticulated water system by harvesting stormwater for use in the irrigation of the landscape through harvesting of roof water.
SCU has also launched the Water Is Free Project. Water bubblers and bottle refill stations have been installed across SCU campuses to reduce the need for staff and students to buy bottled water. The benefits of reducing bottled water sold at Uni campuses include:
- Reducing energy consumption associated with production, packaging and transport of bottled water;
- Reducing waste;
- Encouraging staff and students to think about the impact their choices have on the environment.
What can I do?
- Report water leakages to Facilities Management and Services.
- Don't leave taps running unnecessarily.
- Use the half flush option on toilets.
- Only use the dishwasher when it's full, otherwise wash up by hand and use the plug in the sink. If you have a full dishwasher load, scrape your plates clean instead of pre-rinsing your dishes under the tap.
- Purchase high quality reusable water bottles at The Coop bookshop.