Echoing the Ministry of Education’s mandate to reduce on campus water consumption, McGill is constantly working towards reducing its impact on the environment including the overall water consumption of its downtown campus and Macdonald campus.
Water Consumption Audits
In 2012 and 2013, Utilities & Energy Management conducted a baseline study on water consumption for each of its campus in order to assess a suitable baseline consumption level and to categorize the water usage found at the university; this represents an initial milestone towards developing an effective water conservation strategy and to prioritize intervention requirements and investments. These baseline studies were performed through building audits and walkthroughs and the water consumption has been broken down into five distinct categories: Operational, Hygiene, Landscaping, Food Services, as well as Research & Academia.
The results of this study show that the total downtown campus annual consumption is between 1.8 and 2.3 million m3 (2012). The complete study for the downtown campus is available below.
According to the Macdonald campus study, the total annual water consumption of the campus is about 0.1 million m3 (2012). This study is also available below.
Following the recommendations of these initial water audits, water meters are being installed according to municipal regulatory requirements regarding Industrial, Commercial and Institutional establishments (ICI). Such metering capacity will be beneficial to evaluate the estimated values presented in these initial studies, and to keep track of water consumption across the university, detect water loss more quickly and to provide environmental benefits. Further, accurate water consumption assessments will enable McGill to quantify water conservation initiatives as they are implemented, as per the baseline study recommendations.
While Utilities & Energy Management will work toward reducing the water consumption of mechanical equipment and other fixtures, water conservation awareness is being promoted though several other initiatives currently under way on campus (”Water is Life” exhibit, water refill stations, policy on bottled water, etc.).