Williamstown is situated among the Taconic Mountain range, which has an abundance of fresh water, and a lush green landscape that sits above a large aquifer. Furthermore, weather patterns and vegetation in the mountainous region provide for a healthy hydrological system.
Despite the regional abundance of water, Williams College is exploring conservation methods and practicing sustainable use patterns. Educating the Williams community in the importance of responsible water use is an important component of a developing an understanding of sustainable living, and making environmentally friendly choices in life beyond Williams. For the region, using regional water resources sparingly will aid in preserving the beauty and vitality of the region for future generations.
During the College’s fiscal year of 2009, (July 2008-June 2009), Williams college used 44,173,888 gallons of water. There was a functional equivalent of 2909 persons on campus in that year – each person used an estimated 15,185 gallons in FY09, or 41.6 gallons of water per person per day.
Water use decreased nearly 15% from a peak of 51,780,300 gallons in fiscal year 2006 to 2009. This decrease was likely due to installation of water efficient fixtures and appliances across campus, including low flow showers, low flow sink fixtures, waterless urinals, and water efficient dishwashers. Some initiatives such as tray-free dining also may have had an impact on water use.