In 2011/12 the University of Oxford reduced its water consumption by 3.3% (water consumption levels were 337,834m3 compared to 349,490m3 last year).This saved the equivalent of 11.6 million litre bottles of water.
The University is on track to meet its water reduction target:
To reduce water consumption by 11% (38,210m3) by 2015 compared to 2009/10 levels (347,364m3)
A big thank you to all our staff and students who are working hard to reduce their water consumption!
To meet the 2015 water reduction target, the University must reduce annual water consumption to below 309,154m3 by 2015 which, based on our latest figures, is a reduction of over 28 million litre bottles of water.
How will we reduce water further? We will continue to implement the University Water Management Strategy, which outlines water-saving technical and behavioural changes. For example:
- Fit push taps to reduce flow rates
- As part of our washroom refurbishment programme install low volume WCs
- Reduce water used for instrument cooling by connecting them up to process cooling systems
- Reduce water wastage in the production of grad purified water in laboratories by increasing their efficiency with manufacturer upgrades
- Leakage detection
How much does the University pay for water?
2010/11 total University water costs were: £601,173
2011/12 total University water costs were: £628,371
= increase of £27,198 (4.3%)
In 2011/12 the cost of treating waste water (a cubic metre is equivalent to 1,000 litre mineral water bottles) was over £1 per m3 water and a further £0.64 per m3 to treat waste water. Water costs will continue to rise partly due to the rising cost of regional waste water treatment and infrastructure maintenance.
Standing charges based on the size of the water meter can add hundreds or even thousands of pounds to the annual cost. Buildings in the Science Area benefit from a large volume tariff, which reduces water costs by 25%.
What’s the carbon footprint of water?
DEFRA figures for calculating the carbon footprint of water treatment and supply is 1.05kg CO2 for every m3. The carbon footprint of the University’s water use for 2011-12 was 355 tCO2.