U.S. Water News Online
AMHERST, Mass. -- The state is endeavoring to save millions
of dollars annually through conservation, and some of the most
ambitious efforts are at the University of Massachusetts in Amherst.
Thousands of toilets and faucets have already been replaced to
reduce water consumption at the state's flagship university, and
dozens of hybrid vehicles are being purchased with the goal of
cutting energy costs by about $6 million per year, or 25 percent of
the campus utility bill.
The project began in the spring of 2004 and the work is on
schedule to be completed in the fall, said conservation planner David
E. Lewis of the state Division of Capital Asset Management.
To date, 3,400 toilets have been replaced with models that use
less water and 4,200 faucets have been retrofitted to reduce water
consumption, Lewis said.
About 120,000 light fixtures have been replaced or fitted with
bulbs that are more efficient and of lower wattage, and about 5,000
linear feet of steam pipe has been replaced, he said.
"It looks pretty good. ... Progress is going pretty much as we
expected," Lewis said.
The university used about 450 million gallons annually before the
conservation plan kicked off. After the work is completed, water use
on campus is expected to be reduced by about 78 million gallons a
The recent purchase of 54 hybrid vehicles for the state's
executive branch -- which includes most of the departments that make
up state government -- may seem to be minor when considering there
are about 3,200 vehicles in the state fleet. But 54 is up from five
"I think this is a really ... exciting moment for the state," said
Eric H. Friedman, director of state sustainability in the Executive
Office of Environmental Affairs.
Buying the hybrid vehicles helps reduce gasoline usage and has an
environmental benefit, he said.
Any municipality in Massachusetts has the option to buy the same
model hybrid vehicles for the price paid by the state, he said.
Friedman said his office is working with the large state agencies,
as well as public colleges and universities, to help develop their
own conservation programs.
"Some agencies have dozens and dozens of facilities and hundreds
and hundreds of buildings," he said.
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