Valley Drought 2014: Fresno State Tries To Cut Water Usage

As "Valley Drought 2014" continues many of us are trying to find ways to conserve water. At Fresno State the University just unveiled a plan to cut water usage by 60-million gallons.

"We are a reflection of our community and this is a serious issue for the Central Valley," says Associate Vice President for Facilities Management Robert Boyd, "This year you'll see some dramatic impacts."

In 2008, Fresno State pumped and treated 299-million gallons of water. The plan is to cut water usage by 20% or 60-million gallons.

The University is installing aqua cents gels around campus. The gels are shot into the ground and absorbed. The school's 'Peace Garden' already has the gels and it stays green with less water.

The majority of the water used on campus is for irrigation both on the main campus and on the farm fields. In fact, back in 2008 two thirds of the water used on Fresno state was for irrigation.

"It's going to be a challenge for sure this summer if we have another hot year," adds Boyd.

In recent years the University Farm has cut water by 40%. One of things it's done is install new sprinklers, change the fertilizer and put more electronic monitors on irrigation pumps.

"We're drawing awareness to the issue because a lot of people know we're in a drought," says Boyd, "But they don't see the real financial and physical impacts of what we're going to experience."

The school also has plans to use drought tolerant plants around new buildings. New buildings around campus will also have dual plumbing, so potable water can be used.

The top uses for water at Fresno State are irrigation, water for sinks and toilets, and water used to cool buildings.