Water consumption on campus comes at a significant cost. Although it is not currently metered or billed, each litre used comes at the expense of Montreal citizens and taxpayers. Significant savings can be achieved by reducing our water consumption. Such an effort will also reduce the University’s ecological footprint and help it on its way to becoming a truly sustainable institution.
Currently, large quantities of rainwater are rejected into the sewers by our campus buildings, this despite that fact that the water can be used for many purposes. Technologies are now well developed for collecting and treating rainwater and these can be easily installed, thereby turning a wasted resource into a useable one. These systems have great potential for reducing our water consumption here at Concordia. In fact the 2006 Campus Sustainability Assessment pushed for exactly these types of technologies. It recommended that we “Experiment to find the most effective ways to reduce water consumption, such as naturally filtering and reusing rainwater and wastewater…”
As a starting point, there is one site in particular that offers some unique opportunities for the introduction of a rainwater harvesting system, and that is the Concordia Greenhouse. Located on the roof of the Hall Building, the Greenhouse Project’s mission is to develop and demonstrate a model for community gardening and sustainable urban food production. A system for collecting and using rainwater will move the Project forward towards its goals by (1) reducing its water consumption, (2) increasing its self-sufficiency, and (3) increasing its potential for food production through the integration of complementary systems (such as aquaculture production). Another advantage of the site is that it already includes holding tanks and a network of irrigation pipes, elements than can be integrated to reduce installation costs.
Years funded: 2009-10
Amount allocated: $6,500.00
Project leader: Jonathon Maisonneuve