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Environmental Science and Policy
Water is a natural resource that is too often taken for granted. At a place like Smith College where the sprinklers are set to go off in the quad every night at midnight and there is always cool water in the dining halls, clear water in the bathrooms, and hot water in the showers, it seems as if it is endless supply. Unfortunately water is not a renewable resource and humans are quickly depleting the small percentage of freshwater that is actually available for our use. Smith is taking the first steps towards becoming a more sustainable institution through decreasing its carbon foot print. However, there is also a growing interest in looking at other issues that do not directly impact climate change, such as water use and how to reduce the amount and rate at which water is being used on campus. In order to accomplish this task behaviors surrounding water need to be identified and attitudes towards water reframed. Through this project we determined the largest and smallest consumptive behaviors surrounding water use on the Smith College campus. Working in collaboration with the Sustainability Director Dano Weisbord, analyzing several of the college’s quarterly water bills, and comparing those results to the results collected from a survey distributed to a fraction of the student body about when and how they use water, we developed a series of recommendations for the immediate future and the long term that we hope will successfully help to reduce the amount of water Smith uses on a yearly basis.
© 2009; Hannah Jaris
Jaris, Hannah, "Running Water: Student Water Use and Conservation in Smith Houses" (2009). Capstone, Smith College, Northampton, MA.
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