Slowing the Flow of Water Use in Laboratories at the University of Colorado-Boulder

Helina Ayalew, University of Colorado Boulder Green Labs

Laboratories can be large water consumers. At the University of Colorado-Boulder, the CU Green Labs Program has been working with labs to minimize water use. In an effort to increase water conservation, CU Green Labs has proposed several effective actions as well as engaged lab members to think about green ideas to implement in their laboratories. This presentation will address how Green Labs worked with labs to implement a number of water saving measures, ranging from putting electron microscope chillers on process chilled water to promoting the use of water-free condensers in organic chemistry synthesis labs.

Learning Objectives

  • Learn about how Green Labs practices a collaborative team approach to achieve water conservation
  • Learn about specific examples of how CU Green Labs worked with labs to increase water conservation
  • Learning about the quantitative water savings that can result from implementing these specific water conservation actions
  • Learn about how CU Green labs used incentives to motivate labs to purchase more water efficient equipment and/or implement practices that allow for greater water conservation


Helina Ayalew is a fourth year undergraduate student at the University of Colorado Boulder studying Biochemistry. She has been working with Kathy Ramirez-Aguilar and the CU Green Labs program as a student assistant for three years. As a student assistant, Helina worked on reducing energy consumption, solid waste production, and water use in the research labs on campus.


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