LOGAN, Utah — With the state of Utah facing drought conditions for another year, Utah State University Eastern is engaged in significant efforts to conserve water. The campus has put plans in place to save both water and the funds that go along with it throughout the year.
“Utah State University Eastern is committed to conserving water and being a community partner in conservation efforts,” said Greg Dart, associate vice president for USU Eastern. “From flipping grass parking strips, xeriscaping and reducing watering on our fields and lawns, to using significant technologies to keep our spaces in good shape, we are committed to conservation. We are also always open to ideas and new strategies to continue to improve.”
The campus has followed the lead of the City of Price, replacing sod that covered land on 3rd East and 4th South with xeriscape plants. This change alone has saved hundreds of thousands of gallons of water on the campus. According to Kyle Willis, director of facilities at USU Eastern, the campus will look to replace even more sod around roadways on campus in the near future.
“Last year in those sections of lawn, we used a total of 347,937 gallons of water,” Willis said. “In doing this we anticipate a huge savings and are excited to contribute our part in helping conserve water.”
The campus has also implemented technology to help save water whenever possible. Much of the irrigation system has smart clocks that monitor rainfall and automatically do not water if rain has recently fallen. This has helped the campus avoid overwatering grass, and officials hope to implement the smart clocks throughout the entire irrigation system. Inside buildings, many water features such as bathroom sinks, have been converted to automatic fixtures, which has also cut water use.
In places where the campus wants to keep grass, such as its soccer fields as well as other places, USU Eastern has also implemented measures to conserve water. The campus has added products to the lawn that will help the grass stay greener even with less water. They have also used innovative methods to make sure the grass stays green.
“We also use a growth regulator, which makes the grass grow horizontally instead of vertically,” Willis said. “This allows the stem of the grass to get longer and allows the plant to be longer, which in return will help reduce the amount of water to keep things green.”
Located in picturesque Price, Utah State University Eastern provides the best of both worlds for students – the personalized attention and small student-to-faculty ratio of a small-town college, with the educational opportunities and resources of a large university. USU Eastern boasts student government opportunities, clubs and programs like theater, choir, and the award-winning student newspaper “The Eagle”, as well as its own athletic program. USU Eastern provides personal or professional development training, technical education in Health Professions, Technical Careers and Business, as well as associate, bachelor’s, master’s and doctorate degrees and certificates of proficiency. Learn more at eastern.usu.edu.
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