Our Water Strategy and Action Plan have been developed in-line with the new University-wide 2035 Strategy. We are developing high-level targets for improving the water efficiency of our organisation, with the aim to save us money, reduce our impact on the environment and enhance our reputation as a sustainable university.

Water drinking fountain

Annual water usage

In the 2021/22 academic year we have seen a significant decrease in annual water usage to levels below any previous year's use (baseline data 2012/13). This reduction can be attributed primarily to our redevelopment programs (an increase in use will be seen when some buildings come back online), but lower occupancy rates alongside our proactive conservation and efficiency measures would also have contributed to this decrease.

Reducing our water use and wastage is important to us, we deliver this in three key ways:

  • The installation of water efficient showers, taps and toilets in our buildings with all new developments requiring a high level of water efficient fixtures and fittings.
  • Our smart water meter loggers and on-line portal provides ‘real time’ data and alarms, enabling us to find hidden water leaks.
  • Rainwater harvesting at our Headington Campus and Clive Booth Student Village captures rainwater for use in toilets and irrigation.

We provide free drinking water at all our catering outlets (and other locations throughout our campuses) to encourage the use of refillable water bottles. This also helps reduce the amount of plastic waste generated from single-use water bottles.

For more information, see our Water Strategy and Water Reduction Action Plan.

The bar graph shows annual water use 2012/13: 170459, 2013/14: 154647, 2014/15: 182597, 2015/16: 200298, 2016/17: 210055, 2017/18: 233292, 2018/19: 232375, 2019/20: 197911, 2020/21: 218803. 2021/22: 122963

“FACT: Although the UK is known for its rain, it has less available water per person than most European countries.”

Get involved

In addition to being conscious about your own water use, there are several ways to help save water at Brookes. Report water leaks to the service desk at

01865 48 8888

And if you have a water saving suggestion, please contact us.