At a Glance
College or University
Commercial Energy Efficiency
San Antonio, TX
Tripti Mishra proposed solutions that could help the Alamo Colleges District (ACD) achieve their goal of reducing domestic water consumption.
The ACD, a system of five community colleges in San Antonio, Texas, had already implemented initiatives such as demand response, waste and water recycling and solar energy installation, but realized the need to identify and implement more large-scale water conservation projects to achieve its commitment to reduce domestic water consumption. The district committed to its Second Nature Climate Commitment. They enlisted EDF Climate Corps fellow Tripti Mishra to help achieve a 70 percent reduction in total by the year 2050, with a 25 percent reduction to be reached by 2020.
Mishra worked with multiple departments to document and analyze ACD’s current water usage and conservation techniques. She interviewed facilities staff at each college, performed field visits, reviewed water bills and studied the most water-intensive facilities including thermal storage tanks and the recycled water lake. After a critical review of landscaping department’s operations, Mishra proposed solutions such as using more water-efficient equipment and irrigation meters, implementing native landscaping and employing rainwater harvesting techniques.
Additionally, for long-term gains, she proposed other water-saving projects such as:
- Sub-metering and tracking of water consumption at cooling towers and irrigation to receive sewer credits.
- Adopting the city’s relevant construction codes for rainwater and condensate water usage into ACD’s construction guidelines.
Mishra successfully demonstrated that potential annual savings of about 3.4 million gallons of water and 7 metric tons of CO2 emissions could be achieved by implementing the rainwater harvesting projects. This could result in potential, annual savings of about $45,000 for ACD. Her technical and financial feasibility studies and other suggestions will help the colleges become more water efficient and better able to track consumption as the district continues to grow and undergo new renovations.