Water (sustainable operations)

AUT is committed to sustainably managing our water across all campuses so that we not only use it efficiently – but we reduce our reliance on mains water supply by increasing rainwater harvesting, and improve the quality of stormwater discharging from our sites.

What we're doing to meet water targets

AUT’s Sustainability Roadmap target relating to water is to reduce mains supplied water usage by 20% by 2025 and increase harvested water to 5% of total use. Here's what we're doing:

  • Increased use of technology and innovation, including smart water metres
  • Expand the use of non-mains water supply
  • Improve engagement and training of staff and students in water efficiency
  • Increase the percentage of stormwater flows through green infrastructure, including swales

Water initiatives on campus

Learn about some of the initiatives helping to meet our water targets.

Water sensitive design

All three campuses have rain gardens or swales, which serve two purposes: they filter runoff contaminants before it reaches stormwater, and they promote infiltration taking pressure off the stormwater infrastructure.

Water collection

Rainwater is harvested on the North Campus and used to water the food gardens. On the South Campus, only pond water (topped up from a borehole) is used to irrigate the landscape. At our City Campus, WZ has a rainwater tank which is used in laboratories, for building washes and for grounds maintenance. This water would otherwise go to stormwater drains.

Smart water metres

Smart metres are being rolled out across the three campuses as a trial with Watercare. These help to identify areas of high-water use that can be reduced and areas which may have a leak.

What you can do

You can help reduce water consumption and use water more efficiently by:

  • Turning off water when soaping your hands and brushing your teeth
  • Reporting all water leaks on campus to estates@aut.ac.nz
  • Turning off the tap when rinsing dishes and containers
  • Taking shorter showers (under 4 minutes)
  • Filling the sink to wash dishes, or filling your dishwasher and avoiding pre-rinsing dishes
  • Washing only full loads of clothes, or hand washing if there are only a few items

AUT's sustainability targets

Learn about all of our sustainability targets, and what we're doing to achieve them, in the AUT Sustainability Roadmap.

Sustainability Roadmap

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