Water

Every drop counts

By 2030, the United Nations projects that global water demand will exceed supply by 40 percent. Emory has established strong leadership in water conservation among the higher education community. Going forward, efforts to use water more consciously will require commitment from students, faculty, staff, patients, visitors and others – and that commitment will not only make a difference locally but will also have ripple effects far beyond and for years to come.

So Far

  • The Water Hub at Emory is the first water reclamation facility of its kind in the U.S. and, by recycling sewage to usable water for heating and cooling campus buildings, reduces Emory’s water footprint by over 40%.
  • The newly opened Emory University Hospital Tower is the first LEED certified hospital building at Emory. It is designed to use 30% less water than a typical hospital through water-saving fixtures, and will recover approximately 2.5 million gallons of water annually through condensate recovery.
  • A closed-loop laser system helps the Math and Science Center save 2.8 million gallons of water per year.
  • Emory University and Emory Healthcare are a part of the Atlanta Better Buildings Challenge, with goals to reduce energy and water consumption 20% by 2020. Emory buildings have been recognized as Top Performers for the greatest energy and water reduction among participants in the Challenge.
  • Cisterns collect rain water used for irrigation, and an underground storage system collects rainwater for use in flushing toilets in two of Emory’s residence halls.
  • A unique graywater system collects shower and sink water and repurposes it for use in flushing toilets in two Emory residence halls.
  • Emory’s steam plants harvest condensate water for reuse.
  • Water-saving fixtures at the Winship Cancer Institute Center reduced water use by 24 percent.

Today

40%

of Emory's total water use is reclaimed by the WaterHub at Emory

24%

reduction in water use by the Winship Cancer Institute

60

million gallons of city potable water were displaced in 2017 by reclaimed Water Hub water (enough to fill an olympic-sized pool 90 times!)

Emory’s Energy and Utilities department publishes an annual report with detailed water conservation impacts.

Tomorrow

We have ambitious goals to use water resources even more efficiently in the coming years. By 2025:

  • All of the water for heating, cooling, toilet-flushing and other non-potable needs across all Emory facilities will be supplied by captured and grey water as opposed to treated drinking water.
  • Emory will use half the water that it did in 2015.