In 1995, the University developed a statement of principles to reduce water consumption in Atlanta and Oxford. Then, in 2007, a consulting team was hired to develop a comprehensive storm water master plan addressing storm water management, waste-water management, and overall water conservation on Emory's campuses.
Currently Emory has one of the largest green building inventories by square footage among all universities in the nation.
Emory's green buildings conserve water in the following ways:
A closed-loop laser system helps the Math and Science Center save 2.8 million gallons of water per year.
Water use in Candler Library has been reduced by 30 percent.
Low-flow fixtures in the Goizueta Business School reduced water use by 20 percent. Cisterns also capture storm water and condensate from air handling units for irrigation.
Water-saving fixtures at the Winship Cancer Institute Center reduced water use by 24 percent.
The Whitehead Biomedical Research Building and Emory-Children's Center conserve water and energy using large heat wheels to wring the humidity out of the atmosphere, resulting in almost 4 million gallons per year of water being captured and used in Emory's chilled-water system.
Emory's Evans and Few residence halls, designed to LEED standards, pump collected rainwater using solar power to flush toilets. Emory's Longstreet and Means first-year residence halls collect grey water and rain water for toilet flushing.
Low-flow shower heads, dual-flush toilets, and low-flow urinals are installed at various locations on campus.
Rainwater cisterns holding over 350,000 gallons of collected rainwater can be used to water campus trees and gardens
The WaterHub: Reducing Emory's Water Footprint
The WaterHub is an on-site water recycling system on the Emory University campus which utilizes eco-engineering processes to clean waste water for future non-potable uses. It inaugurated in April 2015 and is the first system of its kind to be installed in the United States. Emory’s WaterHub is capable of recycling up to 400,000 gallons-per-day –nearly 40% of Emory’s total campus water needs.
Wastewater cleaned by the WaterHub is used as process make-up water in Emory’s steam and chiller plants and for future toilet flushing in select residence halls. The system will reduce Emory’s draw of water from Atlanta’s municipal water supply by up to 146 million gallons of water annually. The WaterHub includes a 50,000 gallon emergency water reserve which will allow Emory’s heating and cooling systems to function for an average of seven hours, depending on seasonal operating demands, in the event of any disruption in water availability.
The WaterHub was made possible by an innovative water purchase agreement between Emory University and Sustainable Water, a water reclamation technology provider. The WaterHub creates lower cost water at a long-term stable rate and is expected to save millions of dollars in water utility costs to Emory over a 20 year period. The WaterHub aligns with the University’s vision for a sustainable campus and reduces the overall water demand on one of the smallest municipal watersheds in the United States.
You can view the latest data for the WaterHub here.
To learn more about the WaterHub visit this page, or schedule a student-led tour here.
Fall 2016, Dr. Jeremy Weaver's analytical chemistry course conducted experiments in the WaterHub. Laura Briggs, a second-year student in Emory College, wrote two blog posts detailing her experience. Read them below: