UVa Not Shutting Down for Drought

UVa Provost Gene Block e-mailed all staff, faculty and students yesterday to dispel the rumor that UVa will be closing on November 30th due to the drought, saying that the school has no such plans. Water usage at the school, which is the largest consumer of water in the area, has dropped just 7% in the past week. The school is now considering implementing rolling brown-outs to cut down water usage, spurred on by Charlottesville’s $500,000 hike in the school’s water costs. Martin Olivier has the story in today’s Cavalier Daily.

17 thoughts on “UVa Not Shutting Down for Drought”

  1. Just 7% down – screw em’ send all the little snot nosed punks home.

    It peeves me that these kids are sucking our resevoir dry, and when we run out in December, they are all going home for Christmas – and water – leaving the rest of us using portable toilets and collecting rainwater.

    Seems strange the the problem got really bad once the students retruned. It was bad in August, and now suddenly it’s dire.

    Send em home.

  2. Normally I wouldn’t agree with that kind of aggression…but after seeing the below I’m inclined to agree with you. And I’m a law student.

    One student who lives on Jefferson Park Avenue and would not give his name said he showers twice daily, is not worried about fines and will not alter his habits.

    “I really have no idea how much I use,” he said. “If you go over by 500 gallons, that’s not going to cost that much. We’ll get rain before that. I’m confident.”


    What an ignorant ass.

  3. Most people I talk to say "oh yeah, I heard something about a water shortage a couple days ago"

    We’re all in denial I think. What? Problems? What are problems? Thats not fair! mommy! mommy! Scare this monster out from under my bed for me!

    Next we’ll turn the tap on and get nothing, then we’ll reconcile harsh cold reality, and hopefully not forget again when the next big thing comes along and dazzles us with its shinyness.

  4. I wonder how the businesses that depend on students for their revenues would feel about sending em home. Kinda torn, I bet.

    And if students get sent home (which they won’t), they’d take their year’s tuition with them. Whoa, there goes a huge chunk of money that flows into the local economy! And hey, there’s a whole bunch of laid-off or furloughed university employees! oh yeah, this situation is much improved now!

    i’m not defending water-sucking students. i think they’re clearly a big part of the problem b/c i just don’t believe they’re taking the water emergency seriously.

    i think the percentage of students who are taking a shower the way I am now–which is, get nekkid, hop in the shower, turn on water and get wet all over, turn off water and lather up soap using water caught in bucket, lather up body, turn on shower to rinse, turn off shower, shampoo hair, turn on shower to rinse hair, turn off shower and catch run-off in bucket–is LOW. maybe even NONE.

    maybe, when doomsday comes, the city can make the university pay a greater percentage of the costs of all the efforts they’ll have to resort to in order to dig up more water. based on the (probably) wildly unequal differential between non-student efforts to conserve and student non-efforts to conserve.

  5. Does anyone really think that UVa would or should shut down? What happens to the thousands of UVa employees if the school were to send its students home? What happens to the town when there are suddenly thousands of people out of work?

    I understand the frustration, especially after reading quotes from the guy who showers twice a day, but proposing that UVa shut down seems silly to me.

  6. i’m sure you moved here before the university was built, and you were just livid when they decided to put a college smack dab in the middle of you pristine little mountain town, right?


  7. That might not be a bad idea. It would probably have a major effect on the amount of water we lose. Knowing college students, they would be happy to go home. The brown-outs definetly should happen, as students use up more water in general than the rest of us.

  8. No, of course I don’t seriously suggest that they all get up and move. I’m one of them, after all, and the Daily Progress has reported that University usage has gone down significantly in the past few years, showing what I optimistically see as increased awareness of the problem.

    But things are gonna get a lot worse before they get better, and it may well wind up being impossibly expensive to support the University on trucked-in water. The University is the lifeblood of this town, but what’s blood without water?

  9. actually my family has been here for a while (powhatan)

    Maybe if everyone leaves we can get our land back.

  10. As a student at UVA, i can tell you that i, along with many people i know, are doing military-style showers. I can’t speak for the entire university, but I know that many of us are doing are best to conserve water, and frankly, i think all this holier-than-thou stuff coming from non-students is just absurd.

    I will admit that i think until recently, no one was doing serious water-awareness campeigns, and many of the students either didn’t know about the drought or didn’t take it seriously. Now, however, there are posters everywhere, and its starting to affect students, so things are changing.

    Also, does someone have a link to some information source regarding the UVA student water usage vs. the town citizen water usage? This is not a rhetorical question, i’d really like to know. I’m not talking about total UVA water usage vs. total CVille water usage– much of the power and cooling costs are driven by research (which is run by CVillians, i’ll point out). I’m more interested in the student usage.

    Oh, and for the record, i’ve lived in this town for about 20 years. Many of the people i know conserving water are from all over the country.


  11. where’s your data to back up the assertion that "students (18,000 of em) use up more water in general than the rest of us (45,000 city residents, 80,000 county)"? and where were the students this summer when the resevoir levels were dropping and the city was doing dick about it? that’s right. not here. i’m not saying that UVa students are the most responsible people in the world, but to make unsubstantiated comments like yours, without backup, is just assinine.

  12. Someone mentioned to me that at recent football games in Scott Stadium, the University locked all conventional toilets, and placed chemical toilets instead.

    Noble, but one wonders where the chemicals go when they’re done with them, and whether water is needed to process them…


  13. So I guess watching Jaws in the pool during the Film Festival is out…I can’t even remember what pruney fingers are like anymore.

  14. anyone else besides me wonder about the safety issues involved in that plan?

    you can watch Jaws while floating in an inner tube at the AFC. so, i’m picturing a lot of horseplay, clowning around, someone tries to sneak upon someone else during the scary impending shark-attack music, come up from behind and pretend to be a shark grabbing someone’s foot–and then inner tubes are overturned, people are falling in the water, panicking, drowning.

    I can see the headlines: "12 Drown during Jaws Screening."

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