Bridge over Laurel Creek


  • Reduce water intensity by 5% per square meter from 2015 baseline by 2025

  • Expand the deployment of storm water management technologies to targeted areas by 2025

Supporting SDGs

SDG 6 - clean water and sanitation SDG 13 - climate action

Blank slide for spacing

Using water efficiently is an important step to managing our campus sustainably. Here are some of the actions Waterloo is taking to improve our campus:

Fixture upgrades

BuildingPlant Operations leads ongoing retrofits to replace old faucets, taps, toilets, and showerheads with more efficient models. New buildings are designed to include low-flow technologies to minimize water use.

Recirculation system

Internal systemsThe University of Waterloo has a steam boiler that heats most of South Campus.  This system is cost-efficient, but requires a large amount of water to pump steam to campus buildings.  Plant Operations installed a closed-loop system to re-circulate water from the heating and cooling systems, rather than sending it down the drain.

Fish lab renovation

LabsThe Fish Laboratory in the Biology 1 building underwent a major retrofit in 2008 that has realized an annual water savings of 19,000 meters cubed. That's the same as the average water consumption for over 250 homes in Waterloo Region!


WetlandsWetlands provide many ecosystem services for communities and society, including flood control, carbon sequestration, and wildlife habitats. Waterloo's Environment 3 building features a grey-water system that connects to simulated wetlands. Excess rainwater from the rooftop is stored in an underground cistern beside the building, where it is slowly filtered through the plants above. The cleaned water is then pumped back into Environment 3 for use in toilets and the two-story indoor green wall! A vertical flow system then allows the plant roots to purify the water for reuse in EV3's toilets and green wall!