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Stop wasting water

Letter to the Editor | Monday, September 1, 2008

Although it may evoke carefree summer days for some, the feeling of squishing around in soggy shoes is apparently a Notre Dame tradition for any season the sprinklers are turned on.

Notre Dame has a beautiful campus, partly made so by its expanses of green grass. But my feet don’t get wet because I like to frolic through the fields while the sprinklers are going. No, I get to squish along to class because for some reason, the sprinklers on campus are set to water the sidewalks – every sidewalk I have observed on campus.

I am not the only one to notice. Far from it. There are over 400 members in the Facebook group, “Why are we watering concrete?” The group page links to an Observer article from 1999 describing this very phenomenon. The tradition, then, is quite possibly almost a decade old, and is not one of the many Notre Dame traditions of which I am proud.

It ashames me and particularly appalls me in light of the University’s stated 2008 commitment to sustainability on all fronts, including sustainable energy (this year’s Forum topic). The dire lack of access to clean water is not a problem we can wave away as another of developing countries’ many woes.

Metropolitan Atlanta has been facing a dire water shortage, and as a California native, I can’t remember a year when we haven’t been urged to conserve water in whatever ways possible. I urge Notre Dame now to embody its commitment to sustainability and responsible use of natural resources by addressing immediately our concrete-happy sprinklers.

If you agree, please take a minute to e-mail the University’s Facilities Operations at [email protected]

Thanks very much,

Jessica Kim

graduate student

Fischer Graduate Residences

Sept. 1