UBC Graduate Research

Analysis of Campus Water Base Flows Using Metering Data Crozier, Aina


Water consumption in all buildings equipped with high resolution meters has been analyzed in detail in this study, with focus on their contribution to the high campus base flow (minimum) consumption, estimated at 50% of total annual consumption. A systematic approach has been applied to estimate the base flow by assuming that whatever is consuming water when occupancy is minimal during the non irrigation season is running continuously. Buildings have been identified and ranked accordingly. Since data was not easily acquired and there has been limited previous analysis, a lot of the time was spent on organizing, cleaning and exploring the data, as well as gaining confidence by discussing findings with stakeholders. The 55 primary buildings for which good quality data was available for the study period from July 2017 to July 2018 (the majority Core buildings), consume 24% of the Campus total supply and 35% of t he Campus base flows. This translated to current high resolution metered base flow consumption of ~660,000 cubic meters annually, or potential annual cost savings of almost $600,000 (17% of total water costs) if eliminated completely. It was also found that, as expected, Core buildings with Lab as primary usage have the highest water usage intensities and contribute more to campus base flows. Further, it is stated that more than 70% of the Campus water consumption is currently not accounted for in high resolution (Skyspark data). Recommendations from this study are to investigate whether the already high resolution metered base flow water consumption in buildings can be reduced, by, first, clearing up any confusions regarding where meters are located and the area and purpose they cover, and, second, evaluating the cost and feasibility of conserving the water. Further, the recommendation is to make sure that already installed high resolution meters are working properly and connected, and then prioritize additional meters in buildings with significant lab usage, as well as separate irrigation systems to help investigate potential leaks. Additionally, a number of recommendations related to improving data availability and quality are listed in this report, as the overall impression is that there should be substantial opportunity for water conservation in buildings and other systems if reliable data is available. As a contribution to this goal, the report is accompanied by an Excel spreadsheet containing all numerical and descriptive data that have been gathered in this study, including various statistics, metrics and charts to help provide a deeper understanding at the building level. Disclaimer: “UBC SEEDS provides students with the opportunity to share the findings of their studies, as well as their opinions, conclusions and recommendations with the UBC community. The reader should bear in mind that this is a student project/report and is not an official document of UBC. Furthermore readers should bear in mind that these reports may not reflect the current status of activities at UBC. We urge you to contact the research persons mentioned in a report or the SEEDS Coordinator about the current status of the subject matter of a project/report.”

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