Strategy 4.0 Natural Resources and Ecosystem Services

Monarch butterfly on native plants in the bioswale near Lincoln Hall

These portfolio solutions will help UIC achieve it's commitment to be a Net-Zero Water Campus as well as a Biodiverse Campus. Read the full report, including how we calculated the water savings in the full Climate Action Implementation Plan.

4.1 Retain and Reduce Stormwater

Solution 4.1.1 Green Stormwater Infrastructure Implementation Plan

Urban Transformations 2.0: A Green Storm Water Infrastructure Implementation Plan for the University of Illinois at Chicago (UT v2.0) develops and demonstrates an incremental, scalable, and adaptive approach to implementing green infrastructure in a highly urbanized context. Transforming UIC’s campus with green infrastructure will help mitigate flooding and will model how cities can manage water in a more sustainable way.

4.2 Reduce Water Use

Solution 4.2.1 Building-Level Water Metering

Understanding water use at UIC requires good metering at the building level, and by use (such as for irrigation). In order to monitor savings from water efficiency retrofits, remote building-level-read metering needs to be updated and used in the buildings with the greatest water consumption.

Solution 4.2.2 Manual and Low-Flow Fixtures

Retrofitting urinals and toilets to meet today’s water efficiency standards would save an excess of $600,000 per year in water expenses. Based on the Taft Hall case study, it is expected to have a financial payback in less than one year.

4.3 Enhance Biodiversity

Solution 4.3.1 Campus Habitat Pollinator Plan

Pollinator populations have been on the decline throughout the United States whereas there is no single cause for this, a significant driver includes urbanization. This solution will create a set of recommendations and practices that allow pollinators to thrive at UIC through planting recommendations, maintenance policies and educational tools.

Solution 4.3.2 Tree Care Plan

Every tree at UIC is valuable for offering environmental, health, and economic benefits at the individual, community, and social level. This solution will require the university to implement a full inventory is essential in effectively allocating the Tree Care Plan expenditures, as it allows UIC to prioritize and strategize what is best for the campus.