Franklin & Marshall seeks to be a responsible steward of its water resources by focusing on efficiency, cultivating a climate adapted landscape, minimizing potable water irrigation and effectively managing waste water. Therefore, F&M also recognizes the significance of its location in the Chesapeake Bay watershed. Approximately 3 million Pennsylvanians, or one quarter of the Chesapeake Bay Basin’s population, live and work in the Susquehanna River Basin, which also includes the Conestoga River. The College, along with other communities and businesses, depends on the Susquehanna and Conestoga Rivers for drinking water, commerce, hydropower generation, sewage disposal and recreation.
By 2030, Franklin & Marshall seeks to contain 100 percent of the stormwater produced on campus. Meeting that goal involves developing and refining the campus stormwater management plan to reduce overall consumption and to promote conservation.
The plan sets immediate and long-term goals for water conservation, including the following:
The College has been recording water usage (in gallons) based on invoice data since 2008. Water is metered via approximately 61 separate, on-campus meters; of which 10 represent 86 percent of the water consumption. The metered locations change as properties are sold or acquired and are not currently represented on a facilities and operations map. As a result, F&M has a good baseline from which to measure future reductions in water consumption on campus.
In 2009, the approximate breakdown of campus water consumption was as follows: 12 percent for the chilled water plants, 14 percent for central heating system, 45 percent for student housing, 16 percent for cafeterias, 8 percent for the natatorium, and 5 percent in losses or other facilities. In 2010, the College completed a Storm Water Master Plan. Green roofs have been installed on Bonchek, Brooks, and Weis College House Commons, the Wohlsen Center for Sustainable Environment, and Schnader Hall. F&M has adopted porous asphalt as a design standard to reduce storm water runoff. Low-flow aerators are installed in over 90 percent of the faucets across campus, and low-flow showerheads were installed in 50 percent of the showers with plans to replace the remaining 50 percent within the next two years.