Water Conservation

California State University, Fresno and Facilities Management have been very proactive in the areas of sustainability, and water conservation in particular. The University understands the importance of water as a finite resource and has been taking a leadership role in developing ways to utilize water more efficiently by establishing the International Center for Water Technology (ICWT). In 2007, the campus reduced the amount of water used to irrigate the 380-acre academic core of campus by an estimated 33%. This was done through alternative watering schedules, repairs to failing irrigation lines and the installation of better controls. Phase II of the planned Campus Utility Infrastructure Replacement will include new water mains that will provide non-potable water to campus irrigation systems.

ICWT and CIT (Center for Irrigation Technology) were established in conjunction with the university to focus on research and development of technologies to improve water utilization. Two of the main technologies they are currently working on and using in the agricultural fields include the Central Pivot Irrigation and Smart Irrigation Controllers.

  • Central Pivot Irrigation System is a form of overhead sprinkler irrigation that is self-propelled and provides controllable, uniform watering of field crops. The system is also capable of being monitored by a GPS attachment. What makes this form of irrigation "green" is its ability to irrigate two to three times more area with the same amount of water!
  • Smart Irrigation Controllers is an emerging technology that adjusts irrigation applications based on weather and soil conditions, thus minimizing excess usage. As humidity and temperatures change, the system automatically adjusts run time to meet the calculated needs of the vegetation. The farm is currently using both sensor and signal-based controlling systems that gather information from solar panels, radio, cellular and computerized technology in order to make the appropriate adjustments.