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University of the Pacific
3601 Pacific Avenue
Stockton, California 95211

Conserving water at Pacific

Saving water signUniversity of the Pacific is doing its part to reduce water consumption on its campuses during the severe drought in California. Building on nearly a decade of work to conserve water, Pacific quickly stepped up efforts when Gov. Jerry Brown issued an executive order on April 1, 2015, requiring that cities and towns across the state reduce water usage by 25 percent (based on 2013 usage). The University quickly responded and President Eibeck appointed a committee of faculty, staff and administrators to develop water conservation recommendations.

On the Stockton campus, the local potable water provider, California Water Service Company, mandated that Pacific reduce water consumption by 20 percent. Pacific has already reduced its potable water use by 25 percent since 2013, and 48 percent since 2011. On the Sacramento campus, the local water supplier has issued a mandate for a 20 percent reduction in water use. The campus has reduced watering and implemented other measures. In San Francisco, the University’s new campus is a LEED Gold-certified building, meaning it already runs at a minimum of 35 percent below baseline water usage. 

Here are some 2016 highlights for the Stockton campus:

  • Reduced non-potable water use 57% over May, 2013
  • Reduced potable water use 41% over May, 2013
  • Removed 12,300 square feet of lawn and replaced with native plants, drip irrigation and/or bark
  • Negotiated to receive 150 cubic yards of compost for a nominal delivery charge
  • Converted five irrigation clocks and 210 stations to the comupterized irrigation control system and qualitifed for a rebate from California Water Service Company
  • Used the Cal Water rebate to purchase a compost broadcaster

As a result of the winter/spring rains and the compost, the lawns remained green well into the summer.  The water conservation committee continues to meet regularly to discuss future and long-term water-saving efforts.

During the first year of the governor's mandate, the following items were completed on the Stockton Campus:

  • Lawn and landscape watering was drastically reduced, in many cases allowing the grass to go brown
  • Replaced sprinklers with drip irrigation and compost in Pacific’s signature rose gardens
  • Fitted water faucets (more than 1,500) with low-flow aerators and installed 700 low-flow showerheads
  • Installed a water recycling system in the greenhouse saving an estimated 106,000 gallons of water per year 
  • Developed an education campaign for the campus community
  • Invested in technology to use water more efficiently

Those wishing to make suggestions, ask questions or leave comments for the committee can contact them by email at

For more information on Pacific’s other sustainability efforts, visit the Sustaining Pacific webpage.