You are here


Following unprecedented water conservation and plentiful winter rain and snow, on April 7, 2017, Governor Brown ended the drought state of emergency in most of California (except in the counties of Fresno, Kings, Tulare, and Tuolumne). While the drought emergency has been lifted, the state prohibitions against water waste are still in effect.

In response to the Governor's announcement, Provost Persis Drell recently issued a letter to the campus community which acknowledged the excellent community response to the drought and lifted the two-days-per-week domestic watering restriction and the 25% reduction of non-potable irrigation water. However, water conservation remains a way of life in California and at Stanford. It is important that the university continues to manage water resources in a sustainable manner to be prepared for California’s cyclical weather patterns that are prone to drought and to maintain water supplies for our growing campus. Learn more about Stanford's water supplies and how you can contribute to water conservation.

In accordance with the state, the university continues to prohibit water wasting practices on campus:

  1. The application of potable water to landscapes in a manner that causes runoff to adjacent property, non-irrigated areas, private and public walkways, roadways, parking lots or structures. 
  2. The use of a hose that dispenses potable water to wash a motor vehicle, unless the hose is fitted with a shut-off nozzle.
  3. The application of potable water to any hard surface, including, but not limited to, driveways, sidewalks, and asphalt. 
  4. The use of potable water in a fountain or decorative water feature, unless the water is recirculated.
  5. The application of potable water to outdoor landscapes during or within 48 hours after measurable rainfall.
  6. Serving drinking water other than upon request by an eating or drinking establishment.
  7. The irrigation with potable water of landscapes outside newly constructed homes and buildings.

For more information about Stanford's water conservation and rebate programs visit the Water Efficiency site. 


By carefully monitoring irrigation practices, making changes to systems, and adding weather-based irrigation controllers (WBICs), Building and Grounds Maintenance (BGM) reduced its use of potable water for irrigation by 31%. Residential and Dining Enterprises (R&DE) reduced its potable water irrigation use 28%, and School of Medicine (SOM) added additional WBICs to reduce its irrigation consumption 20%. The Stanford Campus Residential Leaseholders reduced their overall water use by 17%.


  • Silicon Valley Water Conservation Award in the Large Organization category (2009)
  • Clean Bay Award, Palo Alto Regional Water Quality Control Plant (1997–2007)
  • Leadership recognition, for eliminating the use of antibacterial soaps, Palo Alto Regional Water Quality Control Plant (2007)
  • Santa Clara Valley Urban Runoff Pollution Prevention Program Award, for the site design for storm-water pollution prevention at Stanford Stadium (2007)