Water is a valuable resource in Southern California and across the state, as California continues to face multi-year drought conditions, which results in public health and safety impacts, along with economic and environmental impacts. Climate variability is becoming increasingly extreme as well due to climate change. Water plays a particularly important role in the healthcare setting at UCLA Health. We strive to reduce water consumption via projects in and around the hospital as well as promote education of water conservation for all employees and visitors, while at the same time recognizing that patient safety and infection prevention are of paramount importance.
Retrofitting is the process of adding to or changing a device in an effort to modernize and make the device more efficient. We are actively evaluating and pursuing projects to retrofit our toilets, sinks, and showers at Ronald Reagan UCLA Medical Center, UCLA Santa Monica Medical Center, and the Medical Plaza Office Buildings in order to improve water efficiency and reduce overall consumption. This project should save roughly 25,000 gallons of water per device per year.
With the advent of climate change drying our water resources in Southern California, residential and commercial owners are being asked to reduce their irrigation water usage - UCLA Health is no different. In 2020, our Santa Monica hospital completed a renovation of all of the parkways surrounding the campus to install drought tolerant landscaping as part of the City of Santa Monica’s rebate program. We utilize drought-tolerant landscaping on the exterior of both of our main hospital campuses.
In Fiscal Year 2023, UCLA Health plans to install public-facing hydration stations in both hospital dining commons. In conjunction with our hydration station installation, we are reducing and then eliminating the sale of water in plastic bottles. We plan to continue to remodel our high-low drinking fountains with no-touch sensor bottle-filling stations to further encourage the use of reusable water bottles and improve water efficiency.