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Land and Water SWATeam (Proposed)

Project History

Description

The Land & Water SWATeam is a newly established team that covers the majority of the objectives for the former ALUFS and WSW SWATeams, with the exception of the Food objective. This group will focus on land use, agriculture on campus, carbon sequestration, water, and stormwater issues outlined in the Illinois Climate Action Plan (iCAP). The goals for the group include conserving potable water, sustainably handling stormwater, and reducing emissions from on-campus agriculture and land use. 

Background

This team focuses on the 2015 iCAP objectives for Chapter 5 and Chapter 7, including:

5.1 Obtain and publicize more granular water use data by FY16, including water quantity and quality data where available

5.2 Improve the water efficiency of cooling towers by limiting the amount discharged to sewer to less than 20% of water intake for chiller plant towers, and less than 33% for stand-alone building towers, by FY20

5.3 Perform a water audit to establish water conservation targets — and determine upper limits for water demand by end-use — for incorporation into facilities standards by FY16.

5.4 Inventory and benchmark campus’ existing landscape performance by FY17

5.5 Through an open solicitation process, implement at least four pilot projects to showcase the potential of water and/or stormwater reuse by FY20, with the objective of implementing a broader program by FY25

5.6 Investigate the water quality impacts of stormwater runoff and potential ways to reduce stormwater pollutant discharges by FY187.1 Perform a comprehensive assessment of GHG emissions from agricultural operations, and develop a plan to reduce them, by the end of FY16

7.2 Design and maintain campus landscapes in a more sustainable manner; expand the specification of sustainable plantings in campus landscaping standards, and develop and implement a tree care plan by FY16 and an integrated pest management program by FY17

7.3 Incorporate sustainability principles more fully into the Campus Master Plan.

7.5 Increase carbon sequestration in campus soils by determining the sequestration value of existing plantings and identifying locations for additional plantings, with a specific objective of converting at least 50 acres of U of I farmland to agroforestry by FY20

7.6 Reduce nitrates in agricultural runoff and subsurface drainage by 50% from the FY15 baseline by FY22

Project Team

  • Primary Contact:

    Valerie Ramirez

    Project Leader:

    Art Schmidt and Reid Christianson

    Team Members:

    • Rabin Bhattarai
    • Bruce Branham
    • Brent Lewis
    • Eliana Brown
    • Jamie Ellis
    • Claire Samojedny
    • Vikram Sudhan Muthuvel
    • Ella Liskiewicz

Themes