April 25, 2005
Making sense of the campus's LRDP project
In an effort to provide additional information to the campus
community about the process of updating the campus's Long Range
Development Plan, Currents is periodically discussing
various aspects of the LRDP with campus personnel.
Photo: Jim Burns
This month's Q&A is with Ilse Kolbus, director of Physical
Plant, who leads a team of experts on the "infrastructure"
issues related to the planning project.
Q: What precisely is meant by the term "infrastructure"
in planning documents like the LRDP?
A: Infrastructure is a broad term used to define the
services and facilities that support the day-to-day operations
of the campus. These typically include utility systems such
as water, electricity, gas, and sewer systems; transportation
networks such as paths, roads, and bridges; central heating
and cooling systems; and communication networks--all the campus
elements that usually are in the background, but which are necessary
for the academic and service mission work of the campus to take
Q: Which aspect of infrastructure may be the most
challenging for a campus like UCSC that is growing?
A: From my perspective, there are two main infrastructure
issues that will challenge the campus as it plans for future
growth-aging systems that will require upgrade and expansion,
which is a financial resource issue, and ensuring an adequate
water supply as we endeavor to house more students, faculty,
and staff on campus. Of the two, it's possible that water will
emerge as the most challenging infrastructure issue in the 2005
LRDP. I say this because water is a resource that we obtain
from the City of Santa Cruz, and the city's planning studies
indicate it has a limited supply. Without development of additional
sources, the city's water supply is constrained in drought years.
Given this, it will be important that the campus, which has
an impressive history of water conservation, do even more in
Q: What kind of record does the campus have in terms of
working with the city on water issues and for conserving water?
A: The campus has contributed to capital improvement
projects and upgrades of the water system as part of its mitigation
measures in the 1988 LRDP. It is also committed to exploring
assistance to the city in future system upgrades and in the
development of new supplies.
More importantly, the campus is committed to implementing water
conservation measures. Since 1986, enrollment has grown around
70 percent and water use has increased only 20 percent. This
has been achieved by installing water-conserving fixtures and
through improved irrigation techniques and the planting of drought-tolerant
landscaping. We have also worked to educate our students about
the importance of careful water use.
To accommodate the growth outlined in the LRDP, the campus
will need to be even more aggressive when it comes to water
conservation. New buildings such as Engineering 2, for example,
incorporate waterless urinals, each one of which saves 40,000
gallons of water annually. Retrofitting existing buildings with
these kinds of features could produce substantial water savings
On the supply end of the equation, the campus could explore
development of its own water supply, and maintain our long-standing
willingness to assist the city in developing additional water
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