How we're reducing water consumption
With changing weather patterns and increasing global demands, water is the next big global environmental threat - with huge societal impacts. Not only that, the South West has one of the highest water charges in the country. We're committed to responsible water management as part of our overall sustainability strategy. And we believe that water conservation is paramount in terms of protecting the environment and reducing costs.
Our first round of water conservation from 1991 to 2004 led to a 45 per cent reduction in water use, delivering a saving of £1.6 million and 300TCO2e. We have half-hourly water meters throughout the campus, which provides intense monitoring and mapping of water consumption. Towards the end of 2015 we installed sub metering in the Smeaton Building, due to there being unexpected high water use in the building. The additional metering has enabled closer monitoring but has also provided the building users with information about their water use and has caused a change in behaviour, enabling the technicians to change the way they operate equipment including the aquarium. From the 1 Jan to the 30 April 2015, compared to the same period last year, consumption has reduced by 35 per cent, equating to £8,000, which equates to over £20,000 a year.
The more intelligent metering gives us a much greater understanding of water use on campus, meaning we can target problem areas. Water is also closely monitored through our profile alerts platform, altering us when water use changes from expected levels due to a leak, or change in user behaviour or equipment.