Water efficiency case study: University of Worcester

March 2014

The University of Worcester has been confirmed as one of the UK's greenest universities in the 2013 People & Planet Green League with students and staff working positively to promote environmental sustainability and biodiversity across the entire institution. As part of the university’s commitment to sustainability it registered for free water efficiency support from WRAP through the Rippleffectonline training tool to identify water-saving opportunities.

A Rippleffect adviser visited the university’s St John’s Campus and recommended several measures to reduce water use. Potential annual savings of up to 6,886m3 were identified through the implementation of some simple, low-cost measures such as reducing WC flush volumes, installing flush controls on all urinals and reducing hand-basin tap and shower flow rates. 

St John's Campus has residential accommodation for around 800 students and gaining their support is important to help achieve water savings. Following the Rippleffect visit, students took on a project to review the distribution of water saving devices across the halls of residence and evaluate student views on any future installation of water efficient taps and showers. A survey of 50 flats across six halls was carried out and a questionnaire used to gather opinion.

The project results showed that the students’ perception of the use of water saving devices in the halls of residence was very low, despite 50% of the flats being fitted with dual flush WCs and 25% with eco shower heads. The majority of students support the continued installation of water efficient devices and have requested more information about what they can do to save water. The university will take the project results into consideration as part of a wider programme of improvements.

“We continually aim to improve our efforts to ensure that the University of Worcester is a sustainable university that exceeds environmental standards and public expectations. The Rippleffect has provided some good ideas on how we can reduce our water consumption and make cost savings, which we are currently evaluating as part of a wider programme of improvements. It was really pleasing for the ‘on-the-ground’ maintenance staff to talk through their ideas and potential projects with the Rippleffect. It gave them reassurance they were on the right track.” 
Katy Boom, Director of Environmental Sustainability, University of Worcester

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