RIT uses roughly 165-175 million gallons of water per year. Consumption has actually decreased over the last 10 years by nearly 50 million gallons annually despite growth in the campus size and population.


Throughout campus, water is used for a variety of purposes in kitchens, bathrooms, labs, and on the grounds. There are a lot of opportunities to reduce water consumption as well as improve water quality.

All new and renovated buildings are constructed with low-flow water fixtures on sinks and toilets. In residence halls and apartments, fixtures include dual-flush toilets, low-flow showerheads, and ultra-low flow faucet aerators.

Rainwater is collected from the roof of Sustainability Institute Hall and stored in a 1,700 gallon cistern in the basement. That water is used to flush toilets in the building, drastically reducing the building’s use of potable water.

As part of RIT’s continued commitment to green building practices, irrigation is NOT installed in landscaping around new buildings. In areas where irrigation systems are in place, the university has begun using controls and weather data to improve irrigation practices.

Water is also the medium through which buildings on campus are heated and cooled. A closed loop system was installed when the central plant project was completed in 2010. That enabled the university to eliminate a number HVAC units that wasted a lot of water. Non-chemical water treatment systems have been installed for the main west side chiller plant and six other evaporative towers. This eliminates chemicals evaporating into the atmosphere and chemicals going to the sanitary system.

Hydration Station

Hydration Stations

RIT’s bottled water policy, adopted in 2012, prohibits university funds from being spent on bottled water. To make is easier for people to fill reusable bottles, RIT has been working to install hydration stations all over campus. All new buildings are required to have hydrations stations. 

Perkins Rain Garden

Stormwater Runoff

When water from rain or snow melt is not absorbed into the ground, it flows across impervious surfaces into the nearest water body. The water accumulates debris, chemicals, and other pollutants that can negatively impact water quality. To minimize these impacts, RIT is installing green infrastructure.