Following two severe droughts, the University invested in innovative sustainable water management practices and conservation efforts, which have reduced potable water consumption by 46 percent, or more than 300 million gallons annually, since 2000, even with a growing campus population. Today, UNC is recognized internationally for its water conservation efforts.

By one measure, we have already achieved our net zero water use goal: we use less potable water than falls on our campus annually as precipitation. The Three Zeros Environmental Initiative is pushing us to go even further.

Campus Water Projects

Our water conservation and reclamation efforts saved more than 300 million gallons of water in 2017. That’s about two-thirds of the water in University Lake.

These Campus Partners Support the Goal of Net Zero Water Usage

Zeroing in on Net Zero Water Use

On Earth Day, OWASA and UNC Celebrate 10 Years of Water Resiliency

April 22, 2019

More than 2.1 billion gallons of wastewater has been reclaimed by OWASA for sustainable use at UNC for non-drinking purposes such as in chiller plants and toilets – saving ample water, energy, and material resources – a triple win for the planet on Earth Day! In 2009, OWASA and the…

Categories: Campus Sustainability, UNC Three Zeros, Water


UNC Stormwater to Break Ground at Chapel Creek Wetland

March 11, 2019

UNC Stormwater will break ground in the next month on an ecological advancement project at the UNC Outdoor Education Center, part of Carolina’s Campus Recreation Program, situated on a 67-acre tract  of land east of main campus.

Categories: Campus Sustainability, Projects, UNC Three Zeros, Water


Well Said Podcast: Battle Grove Restoration

September 26, 2018

In this week’s Well Said podcast by University Communications, Sally Hoyt, a stormwater engineer in Energy Services, discusses how Carolina transformed a perpetually wet field near McIver Residence Hall into an aboveground stream that filters runoff water.

Categories: Projects, UNC Three Zeros, Water