Since 2010 the Universidad Autonoma de Nuevo Leon has taken action to reduce water consumption at all of its facilities. Consequently, water consumption has decreased from 13.1 to 11.2 cubic meters per capita during the period 2010 – 2014; despite the student population had an increase of 31% in the same period, going from 133 to 174 thousand students.
Nowadays, the UANL is developing a project about efficient use of water, which is aimed to reduce water consumption through high efficiency and low consumption equipment, installed in gardens, showers and toilets. At the same time promotes activities to raise awareness in the academic community about the appropriate use of water.
For such purposes, Office of the Secretariat of Research, Innovation and Sustainability through the Department of Infrastructure for Sustainability has issued four technical guidelines to promote efficient use of water. These guidelines support and assess the policies and recommendations that are applied within the university campuses.
Today, the Office of the Secretariat of Research, Innovation and Sustainability continues the update of assessing the irrigation equipment, showers, and urinals at its 29 high schools, 26 undergraduate schools, and 64 central administrative offices. In order to assess their performance and make appropriate recommendations to increase efficiency in water use, which is reflected in lower consumption.
Since 2013, the UANL contract the service of treated wastewater to irrigate green areas in Ciudad Universitaria Campus, which resulted in a 10% water consumption decrease.
According to OECD Environmental Outlook to 2050 day-to-day needs are increasing in the whole world and there is an ever-increasing competition between cities, agriculture, industry, energy providers, and ecosystems. Costs keep getting higher and higher, not just financially, but also in human health and degradation or loss of ecosystems. In absence of corrective laws, the current trends indicate that this situation will worsen and water availability will become uncertain.
For this reason, universities must make way and become exemplary institutions in the application of corrective policies that enable the reasonable reduction of the demand on fresh water sources and, above all, organize its use in such a way that its distribution is equitable, ensures food production, and guarantees its availability to ecosystems.
Therefore, the Office of the Secretariat of Research, Innovation and Sustainability participates in the Promoter Group and the Technical Committee of the Metropolitan Water Fund of Monterrey (FAMM by its Spanish name), a project supported by The Nature Conservancy in Mexico and Pronatura Mexicana Noreste, with financial support of major companies that wish to ensure future sustainability in water supply for Monterrey and Nuevo Leon.