CORVALLIS, Ore. – Oregon is facing drought conditions statewide, and Oregon State University is working to do its part to help with reducing water usage.
Gov. Kate Brown recently issued an executive order directing state agencies to cut back on their nonessential water use. Public universities aren’t required to follow the order, but OSU is reviewing its water conservation practices to follow it, according to university officials.
“All Oregon State University employees and students can contribute by conserving the state’s dwindling water supply within the operation of our campuses, centers and offices,” Interim President Becky Johnson said. “At the same time, OSU researchers are engaged in efforts to understand and address the many impacts of the drought and ensuing wildfires, and OSU Extension agents are providing support in communities experiencing hardships.”
OSU already has some water conservation methods in place, such as low flow faucets and toilets, installing rainwater catch basins in newer buildings and more.
Visitors may notice lawns at the Corvallis campus turning brown as they go dormant to conserve additional water. Drought-tolerant plants will be watered less, as well.
Lawns in high-traffic areas and athletic fields will continue to be watered.
“It is important to remember that OSU is a historic campus and we use the beautiful appearance of our campus as a recruiting and retention tool for students and staff, as well as a community resource,” said Joe Majeski, director of facilities services. “The Corvallis campus has a valuable collection of historic and rare trees and shrubs. These plants are a considerable investment and cannot go without some supplemental water.”
Steps are also being taken at the OSU-Cascades campus in Bend.
OSU College of Agricultural Sciences experiment stations are working to develop more efficient irrigation technologies to help with the production of Oregon's food supply.
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