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Emilie Rex
IU Office of Sustainability

Last modified: Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Million Gallon Challenge saves nearly eight times its goal

Oct. 16, 2012

BLOOMINGTON, Ind. -- The final results are in for Indiana University Bloomington's first Million Gallon Challenge. Total savings for September 2012 compared to the same month a year earlier: 7.77 million gallons.

That's the equivalent of more than 1,554 tanker trucks filled with water, which would be a caravan stretching nine miles long. It represents a savings of 11 percent, or more than $70,000 in avoided costs.

Water Sustainability

The IU Bloomington campus began the Million Gallon Challenge on Sept. 1 in an effort to raise awareness about the City of Bloomington's Emergency Water Restriction Order and reduce campus water usage. Although the emergency order was lifted Sept. 12, the city requested Bloomington residents continue to conserve water voluntarily.

"IU students, faculty and staff rose to the challenge and exceeded our million-gallon goal in the first week," said Bill Brown, director of sustainability. "Some athletic, academic, administrative and residential buildings saved over 20 percent for the month, demonstrating the effectiveness of voluntary conservation efforts."

IU Athletics saved 25 percent compared to September 2011. Hillcrest Apartments and Teter Residence Hall decreased their usage by 20 percent. Psychology, Glenn Black Lab/Mathers Museum and the International Center were leaders among academic and administrative buildings, all recording savings of 20 percent or more.

Geological Sciences/Geologic Survey building and Poplars reduced their water consumption by about 10 percent. Total campus irrigation was reduced by 85 percent.

"I'm pleased with the response of IU Bloomington faculty, staff and students to this water emergency brought on by extreme summer drought," said Tom Morrison, vice president of capital planning and facilities. "Some of the innovative strategies and new habits learned will persist, and that is the best part of this success story."

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

The Million Gallon Challenge was a collaboration of Indiana University's Campus Division, IU Communications, the Physical Plant, the Office of Sustainability and the Utility Information Group.