Dependable Erection

Monday, October 29, 2007

Drought reporting

As we noted a week or so back, the N&O reported that Duke University had an exemption from the city to water the artificial turf where the field hockey team practices and plays.

Business exemptions to the "no outdoor watering" provisions of Stage III water reductions are supposed to be accompanied by an overall 30% reduction in water usage by the business.

We still have not heard back as to how well Duke U. is doing in meeting this reduction. But an article in today's Herald Sun certainly gave the impression that Duke is doing its share.
Across Duke, conservation efforts are in full swing, even in medical facilities that account for nearly half of Duke's overall water use. On Monday, a memo was sent to Duke Hospital leadership with conservation tips, such as less frequent bed linen changes and encouraging the use of waterless hand sanitizer.

"As an institution, we are honoring our commitment to complying with the city's necessary mandates for water usage," William J. Fulkerson, Duke Hospital's chief executive officer, said in the memo. "All this is being done while still honoring our commitment to sanitary, safe practices -- which always takes precedence."

Water use at the hospital and university has already been cut by discontinuing pressure washing and lawn watering during the drought, among other methods, such as an operations adjustment at the chilled water plant that saves 9,000 gallons daily.

Daily changes to conserve water use are evident across campus.

Most irrigation systems, which only account for 8 percent of Duke facilities water use, have been turned off for weeks. Duke is among about 40 commercial water consumers that received a Stage III license, allowing for minimal watering of critical areas such as select trees at risk and some athletic fields for safety.

The Stage III ordinance requires all customers to document efforts toward a goal of 30 percent water reduction.

Sounds good.

That is, until you look at the byline of the article.
Duke University News Service
Oct 28, 2007 : 9:31 pm ET

That's right. The piece on how Duke is meeting its goal of reducing water usage was written by the Duke University News Service. In fact, you can read the article on Duke's website here.

Meanwhile, last week's rains only added about a week to our water supply (we're currently at 75 days, according to the city. We were at 68 days before the rains.) Hopefully, Duke and all of Durham's water customers are reducing consumption by that magic 30% number. It would sure be nice to get a report on how all of the exempt businesses are doing in meeting that mandatory reduction.

There's no rain in the forecast for the next 10 days, and Tropical Storm Noel doesn't look like it'll be making landfall in the southeastern US at all.

h/t to reader JS.

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  • Forget FEMA's fake press conferences, we have Duke's spin doctors manufacturing fake news articles (quotes and all) right here in Durham.

    hoping for better,
    John Schelp

    By Anonymous John Schelp, at 7:14 PM  

  • Good grief, Charlie Brown. Lucy is making up the news again.

    By Blogger Tony, at 7:57 PM  

  • At least the N&O didn't just print something someone wrote on a blog. Thank goodness they chose to uphold standards of "real" journalism.

    By Anonymous mrs. d, at 8:00 AM  

  • Wow, 9,000 gallons a day, that's pretty sweet! That's not too far from the 500,000 gallons a day they need to save to achieve the 30% goal. Someone help me if my math is screwy here, but a 9/28/07 article from Duke says they use an average of 1.7 millions gallons a day.

    By Blogger steve, at 12:21 PM  

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