In summer 2012, the SPF provided the resources to hire Ryan Maliska, a U3 Chemical Engineering student, to work as a water resource management intern for the Department of Energy and Utilities Management at McGill. Ryan worked to determine a water consumption baseline for the downtown campus, categorize water consumption and come up with water conservation itiatives for the university, all with the goal of reducing water consumed by 20% by 2017.
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Canada, and in particular Québec is been blessed with an abundance of natural water resources. Although water remains readily available for use at McGill, we must do our part to reduce wasteful consumption in any way possible, and this involves figuring out how we can better use the water which the downtown campus consumes on a daily basis. To legitimize these concerns, the Ministry of Education in Québec has mandated that McGill University reduce its 2012 water consumption levels by 20% in the year 2017.
In order to achieve these goals, we must first understand how we are using water on campus. As such, in summer 2012, the SPF provided resources to employ Ryan Maliska (U3 Chemical Engineering) as a water resource management intern for Energy and Utilities Management at McGill.
Ryan’s position had three goals:
- Determine a water consumption baseline for the downtown campus
- Categorize this consumption into 5 categories: Hygiene, Operational, Research and Academia, Food Services, Landscaping
- Come up with water conservation initiatives for the university
Floor plans were used to identify water installations, building walkthroughs supplied information on these installations and various programs provided information on water consumption of cooling water towers, chilled water circuits, hot water circuits, and boilers. Building directors and professors in charge of heavy water consuming labs were contacted and they supplied information regarding their research.
At the end of the summer it was found that of the 32 downtown campus buildings monitored, water consumption was highest in the ‘Research and Academia’ category with almost 50% of water being used. Operational uses accounted for roughly 1/3, hygiene 16%, and landscaping and food services combined to use 0.14%.
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