According to the USGS, the United States withdrawals approximately 355,000 million gallons of water each day in 2010, which is about 1,1000 gallons of daily water use per person. Water is essential to life, and as large consumers (Mason alone consumed 62.5 million gallons of water in 2016), we can dramatically reduce our water use through a number of products as well as behavior changes. These include:

  • Installing low-flow showerheads and toilets, and faucet aerators;
  • Using water wisely and conservatively taking showers;
  • Doing full loads in the washing machine and dishwasher;
  • Watering your lawns and plants during early or late hours of the day, to reduce evapotranspiration
  • Using a rain barrel to collect rain water for irrigation

Mason Pond, one of Mason’s stormwater retention ponds

At Mason, we are doing our best to protect and conserve our water. Within its buildings, Mason uses faucet aerators, motion sensors, and waterless urinals. On the Fairfax campus, our irrigation system has sensors that register when there is rainfall; thus water less if at all, while at the Science and Technology campus, the irrigation system evaluates local weather data. Additionally, the campus strives to create more vegetated regions, such as our green roof, vegetated gardens and swales. We also aim to increase pervious areas, and design additional dry and wet retention ponds to reduce stormwater runoff and pollution in our waterways.

Finally, stormwater management is also an integral component of the design, construction, maintenance, and management of Mason’s facilities and campuses. The stormwater management program at Mason minimizes the impacts of runoff by providing water quantity and quality control associated with land disturbance such as flooding, erosion, and water pollution. Additionally, as construction activities take place, the university incorporates measures that protect and improve natural areas during and after construction.

Check out our Sustainability Map to see stormwater features on Mason’s campus!

Mason complies with several stormwater management laws:

  • Virginia Erosion and Sediment Control Law (§1O.1-560 et. seq.),
  • Virginia Erosion and Sediment Control Regulations (4VAC50-30 et. seq.),
  • Virginia Erosion and Sediment Control Certification Regulations (4VAC50-50 et. seq.),
  • Virginia Stormwater Management Act (§1O.1-603 et. seq.),
  • Virginia Stormwater Management Program (VSMP) Permit Regulations (4VAC50-60 et. seq.) as related to municipal separate storm sewer systems (MS-4) and regulated construction activities