Net Zero Water Campus

a rain drop's view of grassy area near Douglas Hall that resembles Walter Netsch's vision of a drop of water

Net Zero Water Campus is defined as using no more water than that which falls within UIC’s geographical footprint. Based on the average annual rainfall, UIC’s watershed is about 228 million gallons of water. Currently, UIC consumes about 500 million gallons. To achieve Net Zero Water Campus, UIC needs to reduce water consumption by over 50%. Overall strategies to accomplish that level of water reduction include efficiency initiatives in buildings and UIC power plants, as well as the minimization of irrigation with potable water, and stormwater capture for irrigation and greywater use.

UIC will use the same amount of water in its operations (irrigation, plumbing, etc.) as the amount of natural rainfall on UIC’s campus.

Aspirational Goals

3A. Manage and Reduce Stormwater Runoff through Design and Retrofitting – Design and retrofit hardscapes (impermeable surfaces such as plazas, walkways, parking lots ad structures, driveways, etc.) to minimize flooding and runoff. Design and retrofit landscapes to minimize flooding and runoff by utilizing green infrastructure.

3B. Capture Stormwater for Irrigation – Explore opportunities to design and retrofit for cisterns, rain barrels, or other water retention systems on campus.

3C. Explore Design for Greywater Infrastructure – Create a pilot project within a new construction project at UIC.

Guiding documents and actions taken from Net Zero Water Campus