NORTHRIDGE, CA – Saving water at California State University at Northridge seems like an impossible task. Paula Schiffman an ecology professor at CSUN says these record high temperatures from the drought are harming Sequoia trees.
A new report says it’s because of the extremely hot temperatures averaging more than 100 degrees in northern California. Some experts say the lack of snowpack and rainfall in California’s foothills are much lower than 50 to 60 years ago.
CSUN has put signs that say Brown is the new Green in areas where the Grounds Department completely shut down the water to. Assistant Grounds Manager Ruben Lopez says, “We have this thing called a strike team, where we read our report of a broken head and a broken sprinkler and we go fix it right away.”
Lopez says new and better equipment – such as master valves and small hole pipelines – have replaced much of the old equipment that wasn’t preserving water efficiently. The Grounds Department is also using drought resistant plants like salvias and sages. These plants are able to go without water for one to two years. California State University at Northridge’s Director of the Institute of Sustainability Helen Cox says their program plans on implementing several more measures this year. They plan to put a component called aqua gel on all the turf fields on campus. Aqua gel absorbs water from sprinklers and slowly trickles down to the roots of grass, allowing the turfs to keep water retained for extended period of time.
Cox says she is also concerned about the amount of bottle use on campus. She says buying personal containers and using the water refill stations would greatly reduce CSUN’s water usage by 25 percent.
This will help the campus reach their city-mandated goal.
By Nicholas Seaman
With contributions from CSUN Sundial, Patch.com. mintpressnews.com, pacinst.com
Photo, CSUN sundial
Video, Ted Talk