As Texas faces historic drought, campus attempts to reduce water waste

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With record-breaking temperatures and drought conditions throughout the summer and beginning of the fall semester, conserving water has been a big topic of discussion.

For 2011, there have been more than 80 days with 100 degree or higher temperatures in Central Texas cities. This poses a problem for not only UMHB but all campuses that want to keep their university looking nice and presentable.

Numerous times in the quad, the sprinklers will be running in the heat of the day. Many students have noticed this and were instantly reminded of the money they spend on tuition.

Director of Facilities Services Rick Martinez said that the university tries to limit the watering of the university from 8 p.m. to 8 a.m. to insure that the maximum amount of water can be used and is not being wasted by the heat.

However, this is not always possible because the four ground technicians sometimes have to check the irrigation lines to make sure that the sprinklers are working properly and watering the correct areas.  This can be why students see water on the sidewalks or throughout campus.

Recently, the intramural field was redesigned to create a more efficient and effective watering system for the grounds. When first installed, the new sod had to be watered more frequently than usual to make sure the grass didn’t die. Now that the flag football season has started, Facilities Services have gone back to a more regular watering cycle.

One thing that people always comment on when they see our campus for the first time is how beautiful it looks.  With all of the old trees and manicured grass in the quad, it’s hard to forget the university after a visit.

However, with our growing campus and additions of many buildings, this could pose a risk with new grass being planted and landscaping that will need to be watered.

With fall just around the corner, cooler temperatures are a welcomed sight. This will provide relief from the amount of water that was being used in the previous months.

Facilities personnel ask that if students see any areas being watered improperly to contact them at extension 4586. This will ensure that they can take care of the problem and contribute toward a more water-efficient campus.

Author: Brooke Morgan

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