Facilities workers use condensate to irrigate campus landscaping.
A commitment to responsible water usage is reflected throughout campus; from the laboratory to the dormitory, Georgia Tech makes a conscious effort to study and implement methods to conserve water.
Georgia Tech was an early adopter of water sustainability practices, conserving and capturing rainwater and condensate water through cisterns, rain gardens and xeriscaping, as well as installing low flow fixtures, as early as 1997. Although the total square footage of buildings on campus has doubled since 2001, water usage has not increased. Between 2007 and 2009, Georgia Tech reduced water usage by 23 percent and reduced potable water consumption by 30 percent. A 1.4-million gallon cistern used for internal sanitation and landscape irrigation accompanies the new Clough Undergraduate Learning Commons.
Students play an active role in water conservation efforts on campus and around the world. The Georgia Tech chapter of Engineers Without Borders (EWB), in partnership with the Georgia Tech Research Institute and Emory University, designs and installs wells and solar sanitation systems in remote places in Africa and South America. Other water research at Tech includes water purification, reduction of water volume usage and the environmental impact of changes in ecosystems affected by water.