Water and Wastewater

Water is a precious global resource - it covers 71% of our planet, but only 1% is available to us as drinking water.

blue water drop iconThe water services industry is the fourth-most energy intensive sector in the EU, which means it produces significant greenhouse gas emissions that cause climate change. In turn, the increased frequency and severity of droughts and floods resulting from climate change means pressure on this precious resource is increasing.

One third of all countries are already suffering from water stress, and billions of people worldwide still lack access to clean water and sanitation – this hinders both economic and social development. The UN Sustainable Development Goals recognize that more efficient use and management of water is critical to addressing the growing demand for water and threats to water security from an increasing global population and climate change.

Our Objectives

Trinity has adopted five water conservation objectives:

  1. Reduce water use by 45% by 2020
  2. Increase onsite water use by 5%
  3. Increase water reuse & recycling by 10%
  4. Decrease wastewater generation by 25%
  5. Improve wastewater quality

Our Sustainability Report details the progress that has been made in their implementation.

What Can I do? Data & Results Green Map


Green Tips

Here are our top three tips for saving water at home and in the lab:

At Home

    1. Turn off taps when not in use.
    2. Only run your dishwasher or washing machine when full.
    3. Use a basin of water to clean vegetables and then use that water in your garden or potted indoor/outdoor plants.

In the Lab

  1. Always turn off water-driven equipment (e.g. water driven pumps/condensers) when experiments are completed.
  2. Turn off taps in sinks when not actively rinsing or washing.
  3. Always report/repair leaking taps or water fixtures.
    (estatesandfacilities@tcd.ie or extension 4000 if you are on campus)

Our Green Map contains the locations of drinking water fountains, toilets, showers and water saving projects.

Waste water icons

UN Sustainable Development Goal 3 is to ensure healthy lives and promote well-being for all at all ages.

UN Sustainable Development Goal 6 is to ensure access and sustainable management of water and sanitation services for all.

UN Sustainable Development Goal 12 is to ensure sustainable consumption and production patterns.

UN Sustainable Development Goal 13 is to take urgent action to combat climate change and its impacts.

Did You Know?

Trinity has reduced its water consumption by 45% since 2010.

Rainwater harvesting systems are installed in New Square, TBSI, Trinity Business School and Oisin House for toilet flushing.

A dripping tap can waste up to 15 litres of water per day; a leaking toilet can waste up to 300 litres per day!

Turning off the tap while you brush your teeth or wash your face with a washcloth can save up to 3 litres per minute.

In Ireland, 1.7 billion litres of water is distributed daily through an underground network of over 63,000km of pipes. However, almost half of this clean water is lost through leaks.

In 2017, an estimated 785 million people worldwide lacked a basic water drinking service, 701 million people still practiced open defecation due to a lack of sanitation services, and an estimated 3 billion people were left without basic hand washing facilities at home.