UofG Sustainability

Water Management

Less Is More

Water is a limited resource. Our sustainability models wouldn’t be complete if our measures to conserve and optimize its use weren’t leading-edge. U of G is the first university in Ontario to develop a risk management plan for drinking water and we work closely with the City of Guelph to protect local drinking water sources which come exclusively from a groundwater supply.


As part of the Green Gryphon Initiative, toilets, urinals and sinks in 57 buildings across campus have been retrofitted to reduce potable water use. Rainwater collected by a rainwater harvesting system installed as part of the Albert A. Thornbrough Building expansion is used for flushing toilets in place of potable water.


Because Guelph depends on groundwater, uncontrolled surges of stormwater can overwhelm sewage systems and carry pollutants which can damage our drinking water supply. Physical Resources has implemented measures to ensure the drinking water supply stays safe and the surrounding ecosystems and species are protected from the negative impacts of uncontrolled surges. When renovating parking lots, bio-swales (shallow trenches) are used to reduce stormwater run-off. Additionally, stormwater retention tanks are installed under parking lots which collect rainwater allowing it to slowly drain into the surrounding earth, mitigating the impact of storm water runoff.

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