UMD is one of the largest consumers of fresh water in the State, so campus water conservation can go a long way to reduce environmental stress on our region. Through adopting water-friendly operations, appliances, and equipment, departments across campus are working to reduce their water usage. Campus water use has remained steady - about half a billion gallons of water each year. The reason for the levelling in water consumption is likely the result of devices such as low-flow toilets, showers, faucets, and moisture sensors on irrigated fields.

The campus also has several stormwater management features that receive and treat stormwater generated from campus rooftops, roads, parking lots and other impervious areas. Within the main campus boundaries,  Paint Branch Campus Creek and Northwest Branch receive stormwater runoff. These tributaries are part of the Anacostia River watershed, a priority watershed for restoration within the broader watershed of the Chesapeake Bay.

In May 2014, the University Sustainability Council approved the Sustainable Water Use and Watershed Report, which establishes a campus goal of reducing purchased water 20% by 2020 and emphasizes the strategic importance of water reclamation. The report will guide the University in the coming years as we continue to work toward water conservation and protecting our watershed.

  • Sphagnum Moss Swimming Pool Water Treatment System

    In 2011, CRS earned a Sustainability Fund grant of $64,717.67 to implement a sphagnum moss swimming pool water treatment system for indoor pools.

  • Paint Branch Restoration

    Over the years, Paint Branch has exhibited many problems typically associated with urban streams.

  • Washington Quad

    The Washington Quad is the outdoor area within the South Hill Community surrounded by Baltimore, Prince George’s, Harford, Frederick, Washington, and Howard residence halls.

  • Green Roof on Cumberland Hall

    The Department of Residential Facilities installed a green roof system on Cumberland Hall in 2008

  • Low Impact Development (LID) Projects

    Improvements in dealing with storm water can be seen in a variety of decentralized Low Impact Development (LID) projects, like those visible at the south east edge of the Comcast parking lots, which catch and filter contaminated runoff from these paved surfaces before the runoff reaches Campus Creek.

  • Knight Hall Cistern

    The Knight Hall building site is estimated to reduce stormwater runoff by 27 percent compared with pre-construction conditions.