Nov. 8-21, 2002
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IN THIS ISSUE
Voters say yes!
Tuition surcharge set at $385
Headlines @ U.Va.
University’s highest honor is given to Childress

Marva Barnett wins Zintl Award

Computer classes buck trend
Cures to diseases lie in cells and genes
Tackling cells’ mysteries
Medical Center, School of Medicine lay out play for the next decade
Virtual mind
Major projects status report
Water levels up, usage down
Ashbery reads Nov. 21
Anthropologist Maurice Godelier to give lectures
Artists show “Wizdumb”
Focus on budget crisis

Water levels up, usage down

By Matt Kelly

As local reservoir levels increase, University water use continues to decline.
Cheryl Gomez, director of utilities for Facilities Management, said water consumption fell to a daily average of 1.112 million gallons for the week ending Oct. 30, 38 percent less than the base week ending Aug. 21 — right before students returned for the fall semester.

Reservoir levels hit 78 percent of capacity Friday after several days of rain, up from just over 50 percent three weeks earlier. Jerry Stenger of U.Va.’s state climatology office said that 5.77 inches fell in October, 37 percent above normal for the month. Precipitation for the year is only 76 percent of normal.

The rain is only partially responsible for the rebounding reservoir levels. In colder months, Stenger said, there is less evaporation and plants use less water, allowing more water to run off and recharge the water table and reservoirs. With cooler weather, the University also is using less water to cool buildings, but as temperatures drop, more water will be needed for heating, Gomez said.

While there’s some good news, that doesn’t mean the end of conservation efforts.

The University has instituted numerous permanent changes to reduce long-term water use, including modifying some research processes, replacing old water-using equipment with new more efficient models, installing low-flow shower heads and faucet aerators, installing water-saving washing machines and converting many water cooling processes to closed systems.

A few on-the-job lifestyle changes have been made as well, the most visible being the use of waterless hand cleaners in most University bathrooms and the shutting off of 200 to 250 sinks, a routine that will continue until the city of Charlottesville lifts water restrictions. To satisfy health requirements, at least one sink per bathroom will remain connected to cold water and soap will be available.Updates can be found at www.virginia.edu/drought

 


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