Water Systems


Reduce per capita potable water consumption by 20% by 2020.

In April 2015, Governor Jerry Brown declared mandatory conservation for California due to a severe drought. UC Davis was already working on water conservation measures before that announcement.


Since June 2015, the Davis campus reduced water use 30 percent, over 36,000,000 gallons/month.

Together with Woodland and Davis cities, the campus secured water from the Sacramento River, diversifying water supplies which will reduce draw from our regional aquifers.

The Davis campus has nearly trebled population over the past 40 years and yet has reduced per capita potable water use through a wide variety of water efficiency projects and water conservation education.

Key actions to reduce water use include: preparing a campus water action plan; converting landscape turf and aggressively reducing irrigation; revising building design standards; installing low-flow fixtures; running public education campaigns; and using clean recycled water for cooling.

Next Steps

ESS is coordinating an update to the Water Action Plan, and the campus will continue to act on measures such as additional turf conversion, fixture replacement, behavior campaigns and uses for recycled water.

A project to connect recycled water to thermal energy storage facility.

Signs explaining turf grass conversion near Mondavi Center.

UC Davis staff converting the La Rue median from turf to drought-tolerant plantings.