Campus water preservation measures on the right path

Illustration+by+Victor+Yuen

Illustration by Victor Yuen

With California experiencing its worst drought in years, El Camino has so far made steps into the right direction to maximize water preservation.

The plan to cut back on water use began about six years ago, Facilities Director Tom Brown said. The steps to combat the drought have especially taken its peak over the last three years.

In 2012, 2013, and 2014 El Camino used 41 million, 39 million, and 27 million gallons of water respectively, he said. In other words we’ve cut back 34 percent compared to three years ago.

While this long term plan may have originally been spurned to save on utility bills it has doubled as an aid to the South Bay community that like the rest of the state has had to cut back to the worsening drought.

One of the techniques the campus has used to preserve water use is the installation of drought tolerant plants all over campus. There are six areas on campus with said plants which explains the steep decrease in water consumption over the past three years.

While the water used for sports fields on campus is from a reclaimed water line located on campus, some pitches don’t even need water. The soccer field, for example, is completely synthetic so its artificial turf does not need hydration. The new football stadium will also be synthetic, Brown said.

An average soccer field would have used up 50,000 gallons a week according to allianceforwaterefficiency.org, which adds up to 1.3 million gallons a year if watered every two weeks. Even if the reclaimed water is being used, the extra maintenance takes away from other sectors of the campus that could use immediate attention.

The said techniques implemented by EC allowed themselves to become a leader in water consumption, by being an example for the Torrance community and other local colleges along with the South Bay.

The city of Torrance has made the initiative to cut back on water usage by implementing level one water supply restrictions, according to a Daily Breeze article. The city fell just short of meeting the demands but the overall effect has made the city a leader on Southern California’s plan to preserve as much water as possible.

Certain sections of the school community might have to take a hit such as the horticulture club or classes that deal with agriculture, but in desperate times the community has found common ground and a sensible way to prepare for the worst.

With the steps that EC has made, the campus can claim they’ve prepared thoroughly and built a solid foundation in which to cut back on water consumption.