Sustainability efforts at NC State in recent years have been successful in reducing the amount of water the university uses. Those efforts have been driven, in part, by state laws designed to increase energy consumption in government buildings.
Back in 1951, a different sort of government initiative drove NC State to work on reducing its water usage. It was on this day that year that the Technician reported that the Raleigh City Council had voted to require the university to reduce its water usage by a third.
The move by the City Council was apparently in response to a nationwide concern about a rise in water usage in the United States. The U.S. Department of Interior reported at the time that water usage had increased by 35 billion gallons daily over the past decade, to a total of 200 billion gallons a day in 1950.
So Raleigh officials ordered NC State (then State College) to cut its water use by a third. The university was using a quarter million gallons per day at the time, and city officials warned that the university would pay a steeper price for any water used beyond the mandated level.
The Technician article didn’t indicate how the university planned to respond, other than to note that university officials checked for leaks around campus.
Today, a much larger NC State uses a little more than 1 million gallons of water per day, according to a 2012 report by the NC State Energy Management office.