UC Sustainability

UC Sustainability

Water Management

The University of Cincinnati was ranked as the top performer in the water category in the 2017 Sustainable Campus Index from the Association for the Advancement of Sustainability in Higher Education.

Water Management Policies at UC

The University of Cincinnati (UC) takes the conservation of water seriously throughout the daily operation of its buildings—as evidenced by UC’s commitment to building all its new buildings or large- scale renovations to LEED standards.

In existing buildings, facility staff are given comprehensive training on detecting and fixing water leaks as soon as discovered. From a purchasing perspective, it is the policy of UC facilities to install high efficiency water fixtures, where appropriate water saving technologies exist.

UC’s water conservation policies also extend to the proper maintenance of the utility plant’s chilled water and steam distribution and return systems. These utility systems utilize a vast amount of water and the proper return and reuse of this water represents an enormous ongoing savings for the campus.  These building-centered water management strategies parallels additional efforts on the campus to manage storm water runoff and minimize harmful impacts to the larger Cincinnati sewer system, as UC has begun the process of creating a comprehensive stormwater management master plan. The plan will help UC find ways to reduce its stormwater runoff which contributes millions of gallons of water per year into Cincinnati's combined sewer system. 

Green Roofs

In order to reduce runoff of storm water and mitigate the urban heat island effectm UC has started installing green roofs.   The Zimmer Roof Garden functions as a green roof.  As part of the renovation of Procter Hall, a partial green roof was constructed in Spring 2012.  Another green roof is installed on DAA as of 2013.  In addition to retaining stormwater, green roofs help insulate buildings, create a habitat for urban wildlife, and help mitigate the heat island effect.

UC also promotes the conservation of water and has installed low-flow toilets and other fixtures wherever possible. The Campus Conservation Nationals competition encourage residence hall students to compete each year to see which hall can conserve the most water.

8 Ways to Conserve Water

  1. Turn off faucets while washing hands or brushing teeth and save 4 gallons a minute.
  2. Turn water off while shampooing/ conditioning your hair and save more than 50 gallons a week.
  3. Drop tissues and other waste in the trash rather than toilet and save gallons each time.
  4. Keep showers under 5 minutes. You'll save up to 1,000 gallons a month.
  5. Wash full loads in dishwashers and washing machines. This could save up to 1,000 gallons a month.
  6. Keep a pitcher of water in the refrigerator instead of running the tap for a cold drink.
  7. Don't thaw food under running water.
  8. Replace your shower head with a low flow version.

Make a conscious effort to do one thing every day at UC to conserve water. Every drop counts. Report leaks, dripping faucets and running toilets. A dripping faucet wastes more than 600 gallons a year; a running toilet, more than 131,000 gallons. Please call Work Control at 513-558-2500 or submit an online work request.


Zimmer Roof Garden
Procter Hall green roof
DAA Green Roof