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Carolyn Raider
IU Energy Challenge

Last modified: Wednesday, August 29, 2012

IU Bloomington will hold Million Gallon Challenge competition to reduce water usage

Aug. 29, 2012

BLOOMINGTON, Ind. -- In an effort to raise awareness about the City of Bloomington's emergency water restriction order and reduce water usage on campus, Indiana University Bloomington will hold its first Million Gallon Challenge in September.

At the end of each week of the four-week competition, campus-wide savings in comparison to an averaged baseline for September 2011 will be posted on the Million Gallon Challenge website. The website will also provide instructions about how to follow the water restrictions and general tips for water conservation on campus and at home.

Water Sustainability

"In the Campus Conservation Nationals last spring, IU Bloomington saved 800,000 gallons of water in three weeks, which accounted for over half of the total water savings by more than 100 colleges and universities nationwide," said Bill Brown, IU Bloomington director of sustainability. "Since this is an emergency, I think our students, faculty and staff can beat that world-class effort."

Due to severe drought, the City of Bloomington and the City of Bloomington Utilities imposed the restriction on outdoor watering effective Aug. 13 to Oct. 11, with a goal of reducing overall consumption by 20 percent. Irrigation on the IU Bloomington campus has been curtailed, and all on-campus fountains were turned off several weeks ago. The campus received permission from the city to draw water from Griffy Lake to water flower beds and hanging flower baskets around campus.

"With this year's dry summer in Indiana, there has never been a better time to focus on the benefits of water conservation," said Tom Morrison, IU vice president for capital planning and facilities. "I know our IU community will be leaders in this effort."

The Office of Sustainability created additional resources for instructors interested in encouraging energy and water conservation during class, available through its Conservation in the Classroom website. Instructors can download posters, informational emails and PowerPoint slides encouraging resource conservation.

The Million Gallon Challenge is a collaboration by the IU Bloomington Campus Division, IU Communications, the Physical Plant, the Office of Sustainability and the Utility Information Group.