The GUSA Freshmen Sustainability Council and Office of Sustainability organized the first Georgetown Water Week to highlight issues of water conservation and sustainability at Georgetown. The environmental initiative began Monday and ends this Friday.
“[Many students are] not aware of water conservation issues and filtration issues and how much water goes into food production,” said Makaiah Mohler (COL ’16), head of the Freshmen Outreach Committee, which includes the Sustainability Council. “Most people don’t realize that you use more water eating one burger than brushing your teeth for an entire year.”
Events will discuss topics including Leo’s water footprint, usage of filtration stations throughout campus, and water pollution in surrounding D.C. rivers. The events are intended to challenge students to find new ways to conserve water, such as refraining from eating meat for one day a week.
“Because meat feeds, it requires even more water,” said Professor Mark Giordano, who specializes in water issues. “Shutting off the tap to save water is important, but we can save much more water through diet and the way we handle our food.”
Director of the Office of Sustainability Audrey Stewart also hopes to highlight efforts for water conservation on campus implemented in conjunction with the Office of Facilities Management. According to Stewart, such efforts include adding 23 new water bottle filling stations around campus and installing an “integrated water management system” at Regents Hall, “with features like low-flow fixtures and rainwater capture used for flushing toilets.”
GUSA Secretary for Sustainability Gabriel Pincus (SFS ‘14), however, hopes to see more action to improve Georgetown’s sustainability.
“I would like to see us take the lead on implementing innovative water-saving technologies such as low-flush toilets, gray water irrigation, and rainwater catchments,” he wrote in an email to the Voice. “We have a long way to go.”