Sustainability at Duke

Water Management

Water Consumption

Duke University and Health System are the largest consumers of water in the City of Durham, and in fiscal year 2010, Duke used 449 million gallons of water.

Read more about water sources and usage at Duke.

Water Conservation

A national leader in the stewardship of the environment, Duke is committed to addressing water management issues on campus, in the City of Durham and in the region.  Duke is working to reduce water consumption in accordance with the City’s water restrictions and urging faculty, staff and students to conserve every day.

2007 Drought Initiatives

During historic drought conditions in 2007 and 2008, Duke implemented many water conservation initiatives, including the installation of tanks that can gather and hold up to 10,000 gallons of storm, cistern and reclaimed water and the distribution of 10,000 free low-flow showerheads.

Read more about Duke’s initiatives during the drought of 2007.

Sustained Conservation

As a result of these sustained efforts, overall water consumption at Duke has declined since 2007. Read more about Duke’s ongoing initiatives to conserve water.

Stormwater Management

Duke University has a stormwater system consisting of 32 miles of pipelines, numerous streams and open channels, several cisterns and detention devices, and multiple ponds.

Duke’s SWAMP Site (Stream and Wetland Assessment Management Park) is a 14-acre restored stream-wetland-lake complex that helps protect the Triangle’s drinking water supply by controlling stormwater runoff that drains into the Sandy Creek watershed.

Read more about stormwater management at Duke and the SWAMP Site.

Bottled Water

Duke is also working to address the harmful environmental and social impacts of bottled water. Read more about recent efforts to reduce consumption of single use bottled water on campus.

What You Can Do

Every drop counts.  There are countless simple ways that you can help Duke and the region conserve water.  From reporting leaks on campus, to shortening your showers and knowing the current drought status, these additional resources will help you conserve water every day.