UT Study Looks at Campus Irrigation
The University of Texas and the City of Austin are starting a program tomorrow that will look at how much water is used in landscape irrigation systems. Last year, UT spent $2.4 million installing an updated automated watering system on its main campus.
Laurie Lentz is the communications coordinator for UT facilities. She says UT will be providing data to the city for the duration of the two-year pilot program. And that the main objective of the new system is to avoid water waste and “[to] be sure that the turf and the plants were being watered on an as-needed basis,” Lentz says. “And that the water was being directed to actually the plants instead of sidewalks, buildings and so forth.”
For the purposes of the pilot, UT will not adhere to the City of Austin’s water restrictions. Instead, it will water according to the specifications of this new system.
Lentz says the baseline for how much water UT uses for irrigation annually is around 175 million gallons. They’re hoping that the new system will reduce usage by nearly 50 million gallons.