SGA student relations chair says water conservation needs changes

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    The Student Government Association’s chair of student relations said a change needs to be made to campus water conservation, but a Physical Plant representative said methods are already in place.Justin Brown, SGA chair of student relations, said his main concern about water waste involves the sprinklers broken around campus and said his ideas to save water will keep TCU true to its mission statement.

    “If TCU is going to state itself as developing ethical leaders, conservation, as far as policy, should be at the forefront of their decision making,” said Brown, a sophomore music and political science major.

    Will Stallworth, associate vice chancellor for facilities, said there are more than 30,000 sprinkler heads on campus and a few malfunctions can be expected.

    “The main cause of sprinkler damage is vandalism,” Stallworth said in an e-mail. “That is followed closely by damage from carts and other vehicles. Some problems are caused by fair wear and tear.”

    Broken sprinkler heads and systems are repaired as quickly as possible after the Physical Plant learns about the problems, Stallworth said.

    Some students on campus, however, still see broken sprinklers as the source for water waste.

    “I think it is an obvious waste of water,” said Jimmy Hopper, a freshman history major.

    Stallworth said there has been an increase in TCU’s spending on water this year, but it is not due solely to broken sprinkler heads.

    “Because of the unusually dry and hot summer, water use over the summer was up approximately 15 percent over last year, with the cost up roughly 25 percent,” Stallworth said. “Some of the increase can be attributed to an increase in landscaped areas around campus.”

    Brown says the way to fix this problem starts with the students.

    “One of my goals is to set up a system where, if students see a light out or a sprinkler head overflowing, they can report it,” Brown said. “That’s the best way to get things done.”

    However, Stallworth said, a similar system is in place. If students find something broken on campus, they should report the problems to residence hall staff, campus personnel or the Physical Plant work order desk, which can be contacted 24 hours a day.

    Stallworth said other ways students can help save water include reducing the length of showers and reporting malfunctioning faucets and toilets.

    Brown believes this issue goes above just saving the school’s water and money.

    “Whenever the university does the right thing, it helps our learning environment,” Brown said. “It makes us more real with our mission statement.”

    SGA has not yet acted on Brown’s committee’s ideas.