Water Use and Watershed
Objective 1: Reduce potable water usage on campus by 10% below 2007 weighted baseline, including process, irrigation, and consumer water usage by July 1, 2021.
Objective 2: Improve local Teche-Vermilion watershed by reducing stormwater runoff and potential sources of non-point pollution.
Lafayette, the 6th rainiest city in the United States, receives on average 63 inches of rain a year! It becomes very important to control the large amount of stormwater runoff, or rain water that flows over paved surfaces (e.g. sidewalks, rooftops, driveways, roads, etc.) because this water collects pollutants. The landscape becomes an important tool to help mitigate stormwater runoff, and UL has taken the initiative to implement low impact design principles within the campus landscape. Low impact design technologies include, among others, low-tech vegetated areas such as bioswales and rain gardens.
In a collaborative effort between the Office of Sustainability and Office of Facilities Management, we have built our first bioswale here on campus outside of Wharton Hall, and we plan on constructing three rain gardens this summer with Soul Camp volunteers! These projects, part of our Living Lab, show how stormwater runoff can be managed sustainably. In addition, these native plantings will become habitats for pollinators!