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Environmental science students participate in Eco Inventor Showcase

The Metropolitan Water District hosted event featured water-themed exhibits, workshops, and networking activities. Sustainability projects created by Southern California college students were highlighted at the Eco Inventor Showcase.

Education for Sustainable Leadership Program (ESLP) Water Action Team leaders Emily Anderson and Joanna Wheaton participated in the showcase. Emily is an Ecology, Behavior and Evolution major and Joanna is a Political Science major. Both undergraduates are engaged in various green enterprises on campus. Emily serves as the secretary for student group E3: Ecology, Economy, Equity and is an assistant at UCLA’s Sustainable Resource Center. Joanna is ESLP’s co-director and co-president of E3.

Emily and Joanna summarized their project:

“The passage of the University of California Water Policy in January 2013 reflects the urgency and the importance of creating dramatic and meaningful water reductions on the UC’s campuses.  Our Water Action Team seeks to help UCLA achieve the ambitious goals laid out in this policy by researching proven water saving methods and policies and helping to implement cost effective solutions.”

They continued, “This work will help form the basis of UCLA’s Water Action Plan, which will reduce the university's water usage by 20% by 2020.”

The group studied water use in landscaping and faucets and toilets on campus in order to present baseline data on usage to help implement and calculate savings from the application of conservation techniques.  They also created a survey to gauge student knowledge and support for water saving methods. 

The final statistics have been analyzed and recommendations have been produced. At the 6th Annual Action Research Team Final Presentations  on June 3 at the California NanoSystems Institute the team will officially share their data and findings.

Water is a precious resource. The research conducted by the Water Action Team has the potential to lead to significant savings at UCLA and other campuses across the state.