Water Saving Tips

SLO the Flow, Save H20!

Droughts are a regular occurrence in California, and they will become more severe as a result of climate change. All San Luis Obispo County is currently in extreme drought or moderate drought, which means that conserving water is critical to long-term water sustainability on the Central Coast. Here in SLO and at Cal Poly, we have a responsibility to be good stewards of our local environment and community by saving water whenever we can!

Since the Governor’s 25% reduction water use mandate by 2016, Cal Poly has been working to save water in various areas on campus. Read about the campus’ efforts on the Water Conservation page.

The Green Campus Team encourages everyone in the Cal Poly community, on-campus or off, to be a part of decreasing our campus’ water use through the following day to day lifestyle changes or habits:

Direct Water Saving Practices

  • Take shorter showers – Reducing your shower time from 10 minutes to 5 minutes can result in saving 12.5 gallons of water: the equivalent of 50-32-ounce water bottles.
  • Install water efficient appliances – Install aerators on your faucets, high-efficiency toilets, and efficient showerheads to save water. Residents of the City of SLO can pick up complimentary water conservation items.
  • Turn off the sink when not actively using it – Turning off the sink while brushing your teeth can save upwards to 8 gallons per person, per day.
  • Fix leaks – Regularly check for leaks and address them as soon as possible because fixing indoor or outdoor leaks at your home can save 27 to 90 gallons.
  • Run full loads of laundry – Cal Poly washing machines use 14 gallons per load. Only wash your clothes when you really need to.
  • Collect water in the shower or sink to use to water plants – Put a bucket in your shower or sink to catch water. Once the bucket is full, use it to water your plants!
  • Wash your car in a commercial carwash – Commercial carwashes use fewer gallons than an at-home car wash does. Also, they usually reuse water and make sure that wastewater is treated before discharged.
  • Implement a drought-tolerant garden – Native and drought-tolerant plants require less water, and many counties often have landscape rebate programs to support residents in making this change.

Indirect Water Saving Practices

  • Eat vegetables more often and eat meat less often – Raising livestock requires greater inputs of water than cultivating plants for direct consumption. Eating a meat-free diet can cut your water footprint in half. The Humane Society International has helpful information about saving water with your diet.
  • Compost food scraps – Making and using compost can help conserve water in your garden. The recycled nutrients help improve soil’s structure and its ability to retain water.
  • Use public transportation or non-motorized vehicles – It can take about three to six gallons of water to produce one gallon of gasoline. Drive less, use public transportation, or carpool to reduce fossil fuel use and save water.

This information about water conservation is shared with the campus community through Green Campus’ educational campaigns. Most recently, the Green Campus team has posted signage around campus with the slogan: SLO the flow, save H20, and with water conservation facts or tips to encourage the community to be a part of campus water conservation. Additionally, Green Campus hosts annual energy and water conservation challenges; find information on this year’s challenge here.

Additional Resources

Water Conservation Pledge

As a steward of the land at Cal Poly, I pledge to...

  • Save water and reduce excessive consumption of this element that is the basis of life, using these tips as a non-exhaustive resource.
  • Continuously educate myself and others about water insecurity, conservation efforts, and the impacts of individual behaviors on the state of water.
  • Act when I witness irresponsible water usage on and off campus by reporting leaks and discouraging excessive individual use.
  • Model mindful behaviors when using water for my peers and the community.

Sign up for our newsletter including sustainability information and water conservation tips below!

* indicates required