In 2011, Irvine Ranch Water District (IRWD), the University of California at Irvine (UCI), and Niagara Conservation partnered together for a water conservation program that planned to install high-efficiency fixtures for Campus Village Apartments at the University of California Irvine. It was hoped that the impact would not only result in conservation efficiencies at the university, but would also validate technologies and methods that could be rolled out and successfully implemented within the IRWD.

The project, which was completed in August 2011, was developed to help UCI meet its goal of reducing water consumption 15% below their 2007 baseline by 2014. One year after the installation, Campus Village saved 6.9 million gallons of water. By 2014, the project exceeded expectations and the apartment complex alone attributed to an average of over 8.4 million gallons saved annually for the university since 2007. The property reduced water usage by an average of nearly 25% and allowed them to get closer to reaching their ultimate goal.

Due to this success, the IRWD, which spans 181 miles in densely populated Orange County, CA, expanded the initiative to a district-wide Multi-Family Direct Install program. Implementation of this program could help them meet their targets of reducing the per capita water use 20% by 2020, reduce reliance on imported water, and realize long-term cost-effective conservation programs.

“Irvine Ranch Water District is committed to saving water and energy while helping our customers reduce their utility bills through sustainable practices,” said Amy McNulty, Water Efficiency Manager for Irvine Ranch Water District. “Partnering with UCI and Niagara Conservation to retrofit the Campus Village Apartments with ultra-high-efficient devices has been a great way to dramatically reduce water consumption in an area where efficient water use remains extremely important.”


Campus Village Apartments retrofitted 200 units with state-of-the-art, highly efficient fixtures from Niagara Conservation. The fixtures installed were Niagara Conservation’s EPA WaterSense® certified Original Stealth 0.8 GPF toilets, 0.5 GPM kitchen and bathroom aerators, and 1.5 GPM Earth® showerheads.

With every flush, the Stealth 0.8 GPF toilet forces air down a transfer tube and into the trapway which allows for a quiet yet powerful suction that ensures all waste in the toilet bowl is cleared out and flows fully into the sewer system. Then the high-efficiency, high-powered Earth™ Massage 1.5 GPM showerhead uses up to 40 percent less water than other “low-flow” showerheads, and since faucets can account for nearly 16 percent of an average household’s daily water consumption, the 0.5 GPM kitchen and bath aerators completed the water saving package.


Niagara Conservation has proven expertise in the planning, development and management of energy efficiency programs for public and private sectors to help design and implement efforts to control rising utility costs. By working with Niagara Conservation and the Irvine Ranch Water District, University of California Irvine is pushing the envelope for student housing operators to implement new technology that can save valuable natural resources as well as save operators money on water and utility bills. Together the organizations are leading water conservation efforts by addressing the benefits of high-efficiency plumbing fixtures and by helping to alleviate the scarcity of water in California.