When the well’s dry, we know the worth of water.  -- Benjamin Franklin

Water is a critical natural resource needed to sustain life and requires everyone to do their part to conserve.  Each year, Winthrop University consumes on average 73 million gallons of water from the City of Rock Hill, which is from Lake Wylie on the Catawba River.  Each day, the City filters approximately 48 million gallons of water at the Rock Hill Water Filter Plant.  After being used in our homes and businesses, the wastewater is sent to the Manchester Wastewater plant where it is treated and returned to the Catawba River.

Water Consumption FY2019-2023

Water efficiency can be accomplished through water-saving technologies and making simple behavioral changes.  Below are some strategies for conserving water.

  • Immediately report dripping faucets or running water in a building to Facilities Management at 803/323-2261.  A single faucet leaking one drip per minute can lose 104 gallons per year.  Ten drips per minute will waste nearly 2 gallons per day. 
  • Turn off the faucet when brushing teeth or shaving, limit showers to five to seven minutes, change to low-flow fixtures, and consider modifying flushing habits.  Most water used in the home is done in the bathroom.  
  • In the kitchen, when using the dishwasher, make sure it is a full load and scrape the plates instead of pre-rinsing.  If washing by hand, plug the sink or wash basin to wash and rinse dishes.  
  • Instead of waiting for the water to get cold for a drink, keep a pitcher of water in the refrigerator.  
  • When doing laundry, only wash full loads or use the proper water level setting according to the load size. 
  • Do not over-water indoor plants by pouring un-melted ice from drinks on plants or collecting water while waiting for hot water in the shower. 
  • Reduce the waste of beverages and coffee by making and/or taking only what will be consumed before the end of the day.
  • Learn more about the United Nations Sustainable Development Goal 6, Clean Water and Sanitation which focuses on "ensuring availability and sustainable management of water and sanitation for all." 

At Winthrop, strategies for conserving water have been applied in new construction as well as renovations.

At the Lois Rhame West Health, Physical Education, and Wellness Center, 196,000 gallons of water are saved annually via the use of a pool water reclaim and reuse strategy. Also, the use of low-flow plumbing fixtures; shower heads, waterless urinals, sensor-operated (hands-free) faucets, and flash valves equates to a 35% reduction in water use thus saving over 400,000 gallons of water annually.  Campus-wide, 596,000 gallons of water were reduced through reduction initiatives including installing low-flow fixtures to replace old, less efficient toilets.  The Campus Green is an innovative storm water system installed to control flooding by managing storm water on Winthrop's campus.