Brown is the new green: SCUSD at the forefront of water conservation

e-Connections Post

As Sacramento City Unified School District does its part to conserve water, neighbors can expect to see fewer green stretches around the district.

SCUSD’s water use has decreased by more than 25 percent since 2013 – far more than the 20 percent cutback required. The district’s efforts have played an integral part in the city’s overall water conservation statistics. In a letter from the Sacramento City Department of Utilities, SCUSD was thanked for “doing your part to help the city of Sacramento achieve 20 percent reduction in its total water use.”

SCUSD’s conservation efforts have taken many forms, from vigilance about waste to the conversion to artificial turf and drought-tolerant landscaping that put sustainability at the forefront.

At some schools, fields no longer in use are no longer watered. At other campuses, district staff identified and fixed plumbing leaks. At still others, outdated sprinklers were replaced with more miserly ones.

The district is also educating students about the importance of saving water by empowering them to be sustainability warriors at their schools. Project Green encourages students — in teams with teachers and parents — to learn about sustainable living by conducting green audits of their campuses. The audits are then used to craft student recommendations for facility upgrades that will improve energy and water efficiency and make campuses healthier places for students to learn.

The district uses Measure Q funds to complete winning projects. As a result, low-flow plumbing fixtures have been installed at Burbank, Hiram Johnson and C.K. McClatchy high schools, Fern Bacon Middle School and Theodore Judah Elementary School as well as many others. Measure Q was approved by Sacramento voters in 2012.

Funds from the bond measure are used throughout the district to make energy and water-saving improvements to facilities.

Last summer, district staff installed a new rain water reclamation system at George Washington Carver School of Arts and Science that will be used as part of a science curriculum.

To report a broken sprinkler or any water issue, call SCUSD’s general maintenance line at (916) 264-4075 ext. 0.