DAHLONEGA - North Georgia College & State University is taking several measures to reduce water consumption.
The campus' 1,500 residents soon will notice a change when they shower. Maintenance workers are installing flow constrictors in residence-hall bathrooms to reduce the amount of water used in the showers.
"We're also considering reducing the flow of water in urinals," said Julio Canseco, director of the NGCSU Physical Plant.
"Other ideas being considered are the replacement of old washing machines with water-efficient front loaders and motion-activated faucets in academic buildings. Many of these ideas will cost money to implement, so it will take some time to complete."
Long-term options being considered include the installation of a waste management system that would recycle and re-use the used water in the dining hall.
Plans are in progress for dining hall customers to carry plates of food to tables without trays.
"We anticipate substantial savings because many dishwasher loads are being done each day with just trays," said Jeff Davis, associate vice president for Business.
Efforts to conserve water on campus began before Georgia's current drought. he university's swimming pool was found to be using an excessive amount of water more than a year ago.
"We worked the plumbing to capture the pool water, re-filter it and re-use it. The water savings was quite substantial," Canseco said.
A couple of major leaks also were detected and repaired near Gaillard Hall, one of the residence halls.
Future plans have been made to hire an outside company to survey the university's old water lines for possible undetected leaks.
"We'll need the students' participation in our effort for success. They are our largest customer base," Canseco said.
"We need our residence assistants, Office of Student Affairs and the Student Government Association to inform our students on how they can help alleviate this water shortage even if not noticeable at this time.
"If things don't improve drought-wise, there is a distinct possibility of water rationing, with allotted amounts to users and monetary fines to violators."