Water Conservation

Water, the most essential resource for human life, next to air, is in short supply across the globe. UW-Milwaukee is fortunate to be located right along one of the Great Lakes, which encompasses 20% of the world’s available fresh water. 

We do not have the rigorous water conservation policies that states out west have implemented. Communities outside the Great Lakes Basin have already been thirsty for this indispensible resource. To think sustainably and to plan for future resource demand, it is important for UWM to conserve resources today so that we can ensure water is available for future generations.


 Wisconsin Energy Initiative Phase IV 

 Water Conservation

Through Phase IV of a Wisconsin Energy Initiative in the year 2000, UW-Milwaukee was able to greatly  reduce its water usage. Johnson Controls Inc. estimated a 46.6 million gallon reduction annually, a  proposed cost savings of $142,728 per year.

Under the proposed plan, 97% of all toilets on campus, capable of cost-effective upgrades and those in  need of efficiency, were to be changed over to low usage, 1.6 GPF (gallons per flush) toilets.

Also, 97% of all campus faucets, capable of cost-effective retrofits, were to be converted over to 0.5,  1.0, or 1.5 GPM (gallons per minute) tamper-resistant ultra low-flow faucet restrictors.

In addition, 74% of all showerheads on campus, mainly in Sandburg Hall, were to be replaced with 2.5  GPM adjustable spray showerheads. It is unclear if Sandburg Hall was able to move forward with all  recommendations.

Performance Contracting

 Water Conservation (2) Water conservation is also a part of our current performance contracting. The toilets and faucets that  were intended to be low-flow are being tested to see if they really perform as intended. Recommendations will likely adjust or update our existing low-flow units for optimal operation.


Energy Matters, UWM's newest Performance contracting project, is going building by building with these recommendations and is updating plumbing, etc. to create even more water savings.

 Using Water at UWM

Lake Michigan  Opportunities are most obvious by adjusting our toilets and faucets, but there also ways to save water by rethinking our behavior. Making sure a laundry machine or dishwasher is run when at capacity, turning off the water when brushing your teeth in the dorm bathroom, or even running a shorter shower after a workout at the Klotsche Pavilion, would make an even greater difference.