UC Davis Campus drought response

Email from John Meyer, Vice Chancellor, Administrative and Resource Management 

Week of April13, 2014

TO: UC Davis staff, students and faculty  

SUBJECT : UC Davis drought response. What the campus and you can do.

UC Davis campus drought response email


Earlier this year, Governor Brown declared a drought state of emergency and called on Californians to reduce their water use by 20 percent. UC Davis is taking this call to action seriously. I am writing to let you know what the campus is doing and how you can take action, too.

First, you may be interested to learn that while UC Davis enrollment has nearly tripled since 1969, our campus is using the same amount of water as it did in the 1970s. That is because we have worked hard, often in response to previous droughts, to reduce water consumption throughout our operations.

Current campus water-saving measures

Our current Drought Action Plan outlines additional actions to achieve a further 20 percent reduction in water use. These measures include:

  • Reducing irrigation schedules and fine-tuning watering systems.
  • Continuing the replacement of decorative turf grass with drought-resistant ground covers.
  • Expanding conservation practices in dining services.
  • Recycling the water used in the Central Heating and Cooling Plant more often.
  • Washing fleet vehicles less frequently.
  • Investigating opportunities to achieve water savings in agricultural and research water use.
  • Communicating water conservation practices to campus residents and summer conference guests.

To share UC Davis work in water research and policy advising, the UC Davis Center for Watershed Sciences is organizing a Drought Science, Policy and Management Summit to be held April 25th in Sacramento.

Your role in saving water

All members of the campus community can contribute to water savings in several ways:

  • Lab and office managers should consult the sustainability website for a list of water-wise lab practices.
  • In restrooms, break rooms and labs, turn off water when you are not directly using it.
  • Report water leaks, broken fixtures and irrigation spray heads, and other water waste to Facilities Management by phone (530-752-1655), online (om-as.ucdavis.edu/WebWO) or email,

The California Department of Water Resources hosts an excellent website, Save Our Water, with more resources for water savings, and our own UC Davis Arboretum offers numerous resources for water-wise home landscaping. These and many other drought-related resources can be found at drought.ucdavis.edu, where you can also learn more about UC Davis research, outreach and policy work.

Thank you for your stewardship efforts to save water as California and UC Davis face this drought together. If you have any questions or suggestions, please send them to savewater@ucdavis.edu.


John Meyer

Vice Chancellor, Administrative and Resource Management