Making Every Drop Count

Water is one of the essential and basic necessities for life, for natural processes, for society, and for the economy. Pumping, delivering, and treating water is a major driver of energy consumption, so institutions can help reduce energy use and the greenhouse gas emissions associated with energy generation by conserving water. Likewise, conservation, water reuse and recycling, and effective rainwater management practices are important in maintaining and protecting finite water supplies. Water conservation and effective rainwater management also reduce the need for effluent discharge into local surface water supplies, which helps improve the health of local water ecosystems. Furman aspires to conserve water, makes efforts to protect water quality, and treats water as a resource rather than a waste product.

Did You Know?

Developed in 2008, the Living Machine system located in the greenhouse adjacent to Townes Science Center is a tidal wetland wastewater treatment facility. Wastewater from the Science Center and the Physical Activities Center is naturally treated through a series of wetland basins and then reused inside Townes Science Center for toilet flushing. 

Since 2015, 25 cents of every bottled water sale on campus has been allocated to a water sustainability fund to install water bottle filling stations across the campus. Now every academic building on campus has a filling station.

The Lake Restoration Project began in 2006 and continues to improve water quality in Furman Lake. Stormwater management has been a major focus of our efforts. Preserving lakeshore buffers with native plantings, utilizing pervious pavement, installing a series of floating islands designed to trap sediment and take up nutrients entering the lake, and replacing pipes with rain gardens are some of the practices currently being utilized.

What’s Next?

As we look to reduce our water use and water waste, we intend to:

  • Tie the current irrigation system into an automated weather station here on campus to help optimize and regulate our irrigation delivery.
  • Install low-flow fixtures (dual flush toilets, low flow showerheads) across the campus.
  • Phase out the sale of bottled water.