Water Conservation

Burnaby campus uses approximately 680,000 m3 of potable water each year. The Water Tower acts as a reservoir for domestic water as well as provision for fire fighting for the campus. Over the years, Facilities Operations has implemented several projects to reduce water consumption and improve water resource management.


  • Aerators have been installed on sink faucets in a number of campus buildings, including ASB, TASC I, TASC II, Shrum C, B, P and K and the Library. These aerators reduce the flow rate from two gallons per minute to half a gallon per minute, saving more than 50% of the water used. Additionally, this simple retrofit saves natural gas as well, as it is our natural gas boilers which heat the water used in taps across campus.
  • Retrofits of water intensive facilities such as the Fisheries facilities and in the swimming pool, converting single flow-through systems to recirculating closed loop systems.
  • Flush tanks on all urinals have been provided with a device (Water Matrix) to reduce continuous flushing with timed flushing based on sensing of a person
  • Renovations of washrooms install low flow toilets
  • Replacement of water-cooled condensers for air-conditioning units using chilled water (Pestology level 7000, Equipment room in SSB).
  • Replacement of water-cooled condensers for refrigerated coolers with air-cooled condensers (Mackenzie Cafeteria).
  • Replacement of water-cooled condensers for air compressors with air-cooled condensers (Boiler Room).
  • Replacement of water-cooled condensers for environmental chambers with air-cooled condensers (Chemistry and Biology).
  • New buildings and renovations to washrooms have electronic sensors for sinks, toilets and urinals.
  • Residence Towers A, B, C and D and the newer buildings have low-flush toilets (high/low flushing).
  • PIAB vacuum pumps (using compressed air) in new labs and renovated labs to replace water-induced vacuum aspirators.
  • Low water demand plants are selected in landscaping to require little or no irrigation.
  • Manual irrigation system has been partially converted to irrigation system with timers (about 90% completed).
  • Conversion of grass field to all-weather fields eliminating irrigation (Terry Fox field and Field 3).
  • In Blusson Hall (BLH), a 69,300 L underground cistern was built under the landscape courtyard to store rainwater. The water is used for landscape irrigation as well as to top up water that is lost through evaporation from the pond in the courtyard. The cistern also helps detain storm-water surges during heavy rainfall