The objective of our team is to implement a rainwater capture system on UCLA’s campus. The purpose of the capture system is threefold: 1) to capture rainwater for irrigation reuse purposes to contribute to water conservation on UCLA’s campus, 2) to provide a template for future similar projects on campus, and 3) to educate staff, students, and other visitors to UCLA’s campus about water conservation. The system will reduce the university’s water demand from LADWP, provide a potential emergency water source, and take advantage of a valuable, free resource. The team is working to design, fund, and construct a water cistern system that will capture precipitation from the roof of Parking Structure 9 (PS09), located on Charles E Young Drive and Westwood Boulevard, and transport that water into short-term storage tanks on Level 1. This captured water will then be used to supplement the current irrigation system surrounding the parking structure. The current drainage system in place directs the roof runoff to the roof drains, which collects in a single drainpipe and is then released into stormwater pipes which run to the ocean, thereby losing this freshwater. This current system also allows debris and pollutants from the parking structure to flow directly into the ocean. Our project proposes that this runoff water should instead be filtered then directed into above-ground cisterns, where it will be used for local irrigation needs. Through our system, we aim to reduce pollution in storm drains, reduce the amount of non-locally sourced water that UCLA uses on campus, and promote the integration of sustainable water practices. We also hope to educate students, faculty, and visitors to UCLA’s campus about individual conservation efforts through signage and publication about our project. The team evaluated various potential locations at the beginning of this year and selected Parking Structure 9 as the most viable site. Due to ease of implementation, stakeholder support, and potential for water capture, the site was approved and the design process began. The team researched various types of water cisterns, measured the dimensions of the space, optimized the size and number of tanks to be implemented, and gathered information regarding the filtration system needed for the recycled water. The team also worked extensively with UCLA’s Facilities Management to create a comprehensive budget for the project that was included in an application to The Green Initiative Fund in order to fund the project.
Stakeholder: Nurit Katz
Leaders: Manali McCarthy and Cayla Whiteside
Members: Kathleen Knight, Lily Wherry, Ricardo Patlan