Fresh water is a valuable resource, less than 1% of all the water on Earth is available for human consumption. In the United States, approximately 400 billion gallons of water are used each day. (USGS, 2005) The average American uses 100 to 175 gallons of water per day on average. Research has indicated that if we install water-efficient equipment and are mindful of our water use, we can easily reduce that by as much as 35%. You can help by doing just that—installing low-flow showerheads, faucet aerators, and toilets; taking shorter showers; doing full loads of dishes or laundry; and irrigate only when necessary.
At Mason we are doing our best to protect and conserve our water. Within its buildings, Mason uses faucet aerators, motion sensors, and is piloting waterless urinals. On the Fairfax campus, our irrigation system has sensors that register when there is rainfall and on the Prince William campus, the irrigation system takes into account weather data.
In addition, storm water management is an integral component of the design, construction, maintenance, and management of Mason's facilities and campuses. The storm water management program at Mason consists of minimizing the impacts of runoff, by providing water quantity and quality control, associated with land disturbance such as flooding, erosion, and water pollution. Moreover, as land disturbing activities take place, George Mason University continues to incorporate measures that protect and/or improve natural areas during and after construction. In addition to the ongoing efforts to preserve the natural landscape, Mason strives to reduce impervious areas as much as possible and create more vegetated regions. Mason has a green roof, an acre of pervious pavement, three rain gardens, several vegetated swales, and several dry and wet retention ponds.