UC Santa Cruz receives Best Practice award for water efficiency and site water quality

Best Practice Award
Left to right: Patrick Testoni, UCSC Energy Manager, Patrick Lenz, UCOP Vice President of Budget and Capital Resources, Elvyra San Juan, Asst Vice Chancellor CSU Chancellor's Office, Dennis Eliott, Energy Manager, Cal Poly San Luis Obispo.

UC Santa Cruz earned high honors at the tenth annual California Higher Education Sustainability Conference hosted by UC Davis on June 19, recognizing eco-friendly best practices across the UC system. 

Launched in 2004, the conference is the result of a collaborative partnership between utility companies and college campuses. The program’s goals include recognizing California campuses that are making breakthroughs in innovative sustainability practices while highlighting specific projects to inspire other campuses.

Cited for the university’s strong commitment to sustainability, UCSC reduced its water use. Through a collaborative effort with the city of Santa Cruz, the campus actively addressed all high-priority sustainability projects. High-priority projects included a water metering upgrade plan that helped manage water consumption, an audit of existing water fixtures, replacement of high usage bathroom facilities and an integration of high-efficiency irrigation systems. 

At the end of the 2011-2012 fiscal year, high-priority green-friendly projects resulted in annual water savings of 37.7 million gallons per year, a 22.4 percent decrease in water consumption. 

Patrick Testoni, UCSC’s energy manager, accepted the Best Practice award on behalf of the campus.

“This effort has been a success, exemplifying how residents of Santa Cruz who work at both UCSC and the City of Santa Cruz, can work collaboratively together to successfully reduce the impact of the university on the neighboring city,” Testoni stated.

The campus’s longstanding commitment to sustainability extends past water conservation to exemplify a conscious partner in the local community. UCSC was one of 13 universities recognized at the conference.