UC Merced – Reducing Water Use on 10.3 Acres of Campus Recreational and Social Use Turf
Since opening in 2005, UC Merced has been committed to developing a physical presence that will model a healthier future for the region, the state and the world. With an enrollment of 6,200 students in 2013, the Campus launched Phase 2 of their 2020 PROJECT, a master plan to provide a clear vision for growth toward an expected attendance of 25,000 students by 2020. The 2020 PROJECT goal is to protect existing natural resources and create high-quality open spaces that support UC Merced’s overall goals for sustainable development.
The University limits the overall use of lawns to focal point, or passive recreational/social use areas. In such “essential turf” areas, they were actively seeking the innovative use and application of technology to support healthy turf, while also maintaining their commitment to reduce water consumption.
In early 2015, UC Merced utilized Aqua Cents® and its sustained water absorbing-and-release capabilities, to promote healthy growth in areas of essential turf while also reducing irrigation requirements by 35% – 50% of recommended ETc.
The University is experiencing water savings in the irrigation required to maintain healthy turf.
Maintain water availability to root zones while keeping lawns dry enough to promote shared gathering spaces and settings
Creation of an environment for student interaction and relaxation
Support landscape goals for low water, durability, and hard use in recreation or high-traffic venues
“Key elements of Exceptional Projects at UC Merced include:
- INTEGRATE natural and built systems
- Exemplify INNOVATION in design, and in the use of technology and applications
- Promote daily INTERACTION among students, faculty, staff and the community
- Provide INSPIRATION for sustainable design and the development of living communities
I feel that Aqua Cents,® with its ability to save water, while maintaining the benefits of turf within our integrated landscape design, supports our sustainability goals.”
General Services and Facilities Manager, UC Merced March 2016