(Nov. 2, 2011) -- UTSA was recently honored with the 2011 San Antonio Water System (SAWS) Refreshing Ideas Pinnacle Award for water conservation and environmental protection. At an Oct.18 luncheon ceremony at the Pearl Stable, the award was accepted by Dave Riker, UTSA associate vice president for facilities, and Albert Carrisalez, UTSA assistant to the president and director of external affairs and corporate relations.
The Refreshing Ideas awards recognize businesses for "doing more with less" and helping to preserve and protect the community's water supply. Mayor Julian Castro opened the ceremony and the keynote address was by Robert Puente, SAWS president and CEO.
"This was a true team effort, and we were pleased to accept this award on behalf of the entire UTSA community," said Riker. "The university continues to look at ways we can help protect our most precious resource and, at the same time, lower costs for our institution. This is good for UTSA, San Antonio, our state and the planet."
The university was honored for several projects that have helped conserve water at the UTSA campuses. To accommodate growing athletics and intramural sports programs, Campus Recreation Services paid to replace 10 acres of natural grass with artificial turf on playing fields, saving an estimated 14.5 million gallons of water per year and eliminating the need for fertilizers and pesticides in the area. UTSA also recently retrofitted the Chisholm Hall campus residence with 250 high-efficiency toilets and showerheads to aid in water-saving efforts.
Additionally, the Facilities Grounds department is installing more efficient irrigation systems and xeriscaping at selected locations around the campuses. Xeriscaping involves planting less grass and using more mulch and native plants that need less water.
For water-quality programs, UTSA was recognized for treating all research building water using neutralization tanks that ensure water quality is maintained before it enters the sanitary sewer system. The university also recycles condensate water from the Applied Engineering and Technology Building to supplement water used in thermal energy plant cooling towers. Also, the operations team does smoke testing of water infrastructure to ensure the integrity of the wastewater system.
A portion of the proceeds from the SAWS Refreshing Ideas awards luncheon benefits the Water Conservation Fellowship Fund for college students and Project Agua, a nonprofit payment assistance program that helps low-income families.
>> Read more at the San Antonio Water System website.
The conference is dedicated to sharing recent knowledge and experiences gained in the area of Big Data by researchers in academia, industry and the government sectors within the areas of business, national security, infrastructure, healthcare and visualization.
H-E-B University Center Ballroom (HUC 1.104), Main Campus
Former National Security Advisor Susan Rice, via webcast, will examine America’s economic, political and security relations with China during CHINA Town Hall, an 80-city live discussion and Q&A on China and Sino-American relations.
Building Building, Richard Liu Auditorium (BB 2.01.02), Main Campus
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University Center, Retama Auditorium (UC 2.02.02), Main Campus
The graduate fair is an opportunity for the UTSA student body and local San Antonio community to learn about graduate education opportunities. The event is free and open to the public.
H-E-B University Center Ballroom (1.104), Main Campus
President Taylor Eighmy is inviting all UTSA students to "Pizza With The Prez." Come grab a slice of pizza and take the opportunity to introduce yourself to the President. Pizza while supplies last.
Frio Street Building, Food Court Commons Area, Downtown Campus
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Biotechnology, Science and Engineering Building atrium, Main Campus
The College of Engineering Student Council and the San Antonio Hispanic Chamber of Commerce host this fun and education event. Erika Camacho is the keynote speaker. Children and families are welcome.
East Campus Parking Lot, Valero Way, Main Campus
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Brackenridge Ave. Lot 5, Main Campus
The University of Texas at San Antonio is dedicated to the advancement of knowledge through research and discovery, teaching and learning, community engagement and public service. As an institution of access and excellence, UTSA embraces multicultural traditions and serves as a center for intellectual and creative resources as well as a catalyst for socioeconomic development and the commercialization of intellectual property - for Texas, the nation and the world.
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