Approximately 90% of Humboldt’s water use occurs in our buildings - for food preparation, showers, sinks, laboratories and toilets - while the remaining 10% of water consumption is for landscape irrigation. When fully occupied, water consumption in residence halls comprises approximately 20% of overall water use, while non-Housing campus building water use comprises 70% of the total use for the year. Water usage is measured in CCF, or hundred cubic feet.

Campus Water Usage (Fiscal Year 2022-2023 and Historical)

Graphs showing total water usage (CCF) by month and by fiscal year

 Source of Charts: CSU Energy Dashboard


  • pursue cost effective water resource conservation to reduce consumption by ten percent by 2030, as compared to a 2019 baseline, including steps to develop sustainable, drought tolerant or native landscaping, reduce turf, install controls to optimize irrigation water use, reduce water usage in restrooms, showers, fountains and decorative water features, and promote the use of reclaimed/recycled water (CSU Sustainability Policy). 



In an ongoing response to State water conservation rules, Humboldt continues to take steps to reduce campus water use in its domestic and irrigation systems. The campus met its 2016 reduction target, and in 2020 Humboldt saw a 46% reduction in potable water use compared to the baseline (resulting from depopulation of campus during the Covid-19 pandemic in 2019-20). Although this winter saw high levels of precipitation, we anticipate drought conditions in the future.  As such, Humboldt continues to seek cost-effective measures to reduce water consumption.



  • Behavioral and Social Sciences building collects rainwater in twin 10,000 gallon tanks and recycles it for wastewater use (Facilities Management) – COMPLETED
  • 0.5 Gallon-Per-Minute (GPM) aerators on sink faucets (Facilities Management) – COMPLETED
  • Low-flow showerheads installed in campus building and residence hall shower stalls (Facilities Management) – COMPLETED
  • Domestic and irrigation water system leak detection, saving an estimated 1,170 CCF per year based on leak survey data, equivalent to approximately 20 percent of irrigation only use (Facilities Management) – COMPLETED
  • Eliminate irrigation watering in State mandated areas, such as LK Wood Boulevard median (Facilities Management) – COMPLETED
  • Retrofit existing flush-o-meters to reduce water to 2.4 GPM for toilets and 1.0 GPM for urinals (Facilities Management) – COMPLETED
  • Replace turf with with perrenial, native and/or drought tolerant plants - ongoing


Next Steps

  • Continue campus-wide installation of building & system level metering
  • Replace turf in certain areas with native and/or drought tolerant plants
  • Continue surveying for leaks and conducting repairs to domestic and irrigation water systems
  • Install soil-moisture and weather controlled irrigation system with programmable data lines
  • Install low-flow toilets and urinals
  • Work with the City of Arcata to consider extending a reclaimed water line to campus


Learn More and Get Involved