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University of Oregon Water Usage

Water at UO is used for dorm showers, sinks, toilets, drinking fountains, the Student Rec Center’s swimming pool, cooling buildings, and so on. We also use water to keep campus landscaping healthy and beautiful.

Our conservation and efficiency efforts include installation of low-flow showers and toilets. Eugene’s mild, moist climate means that we need less water for landscaping and cooling, though it still accounts for approximately a third of total water consumption each year. Our campus landscape team uses a computerized irrigation control system that adjusts watering amounts based on the weather. In locations where existing irrigation is unavailable, we often choose to plant species adapted to our climate rather than install new irrigation.


The “Yearly summary” graph shows UO’s water usage year over year. You can toggle the graphic to see the water usage in total or per square foot of building space (although the total water used represents all campus consumption, both indoors and outdoors). The background wave shows the monthly maximum and minimum amounts of water used that year. We have presented both of these views to show that even with increased building square footage, the university is decreasing our overall water usage in recent years. These metrics showcase efforts on campus to increase water efficiency through building features and reducing water usage for landscaping.

The “Detailed usage” graph presents a more granular look at UO’s water consumption. Play with the settings to see smaller or larger spans of time. The data show building water consumption in black. Water used for irrigation and building cooling in green cause the summer spikes in total water consumption.