We all tend to take water for granted. Water comes out of taps; it goes down drains; and in between we use it to drink, wash, cook and clean. 

However, saving water is not just about saving money. Water is an important resource and a sufficient supply of clean water is essential to the health of both people and the environment. 

The raw material may appear to be plentiful, but worldwide, and even in parts of Ireland, clean, drinkable water is an increasingly scarce resource.

The World Bank estimates that by 2025, 1.4 billion people in 48 countries may experience water stress or scarcity. Much work has been done to look ath the infrastructure of water transportation and use within the university, with a reduction of over 25,000 litres from leak repair and use-analysis in one year alone. 

Water conservation by individuals goes hand-in-hand with this work, so it is up to all staff and students to use water wisely, report leaks to ext. 2480, and become more aware of how we use water in UCC. 

Remember, a tap dripping once a second wastes about 10m(or 10,000 litres) of water a year!

Water usage savings of over €100,000 a year have been achieved by UCC through identifying and repairing leaks on the Main Campus and providing technical solutions. 

  • Leaks were identified using night time monitoring of water consumption on the main campus. The principle behind this approach is that the should be little or no water consumption when the university is unoccupied and therefore any water consumption is most likely due to leaks or unneccessary consumption in the system. 
  • Night time flow rates were reduced from 2.3 litres per second to 1.9 litres per second and an early warning system installed to alert an high usage patterns. 

The continuous monitoring of water usage has allowed further savings to be identified and the buildings and estates office is continuing to target these on an ongoing basis. E.g. replacement of the conventional urinal control to an enzyme based / waterless system. 

Suggestions and comments are welcome to energy@ucc.ie

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