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Cal Poly Pomona is exploring ways to irrigate its agricultural land more efficiently Cal Poly Pomona
<p>Cal Poly Pomona is exploring ways to irrigate its agricultural land more efficiently.</p>

Cal Poly Pomona intensifies water-conservation efforts

Severe drought prompts additional sustainability initiatives on a campus that uses more water than any other in the California State University system.

Cal Poly Pomona uses more water than any other campus in the California State University system. But in response to government restrictions on water usage because of a severe drought in the state, the university is pursuing additional water-conservation steps to augment existing sustainability efforts.

The Inland Valley Daily Bulletin says that in 2014, Cal Poly Pomona used 633,958,424 gallons of water--more than three times the average amount used by the Cal State University’s 23 universities and the chancellor’s office. About two-thirds of the school's water usage is for its agricultural programs.

Most of the water used on campus is reclaimed water, the university says. Mark Miller, Cal Poly Pomona's director of facilities management, says the school is targeting places where potable water is used for irrigation and converting the land to use reclaimed water. He also the university is looking for ways at landscaping choices that use less water, such as drought-tolerant plants or mulch.

Other major initiatives:
•Converting the central plant, which uses water for chilling purposes, to reclaimed supplies, would save 1.1 million gallons of drinkable water a year, officials estimate.
•A new water treatment and pumping plant, expected to go online this summer, will enable Cal Poly Pomona to get all of its potable water from the local aquifer, rather than relying on water imported from elsewhere in the state.
•Restroom fixtures will be upgraded with low-flow versions. Newer urinals use as little as a fraction of a pint of water per flush
•Agricultural operations will work to improving irrigation efficiencies.


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