According to the U.S. Geological Survey, the world’s total water supply exceeds 325 million cubic miles and over 71 percent of earth’s surface is covered with water. Yet as the old saying goes, “Water, water everywhere, nor any drop to drink” is truer than ever. This is because 97 percent of the world’s water is saline and of the remaining fresh water, 2/3 of it is locked up in ice caps, glaciers and permanent snow. That leaves less than one percent of the world’s water supply available for human consumption. The limited availability of fresh water is further impacted by the accelerating population growth (drink, wash, human waste, agriculture), pollution (industry, chemicals, road salt), climate change, and man-made dams interrupting the rivers. During the past half century, world’s water usage has doubled and consumption is projected to increase by another 50 percent by 2050. At the present time, 1.1 billion people lack access to clean water and 2.4 billion lack access to proper sanitation. This catastrophe of human hunger and disease results in over 2 million death, annually. Over 96 percent of all available fresh water is in the ground. In Wisconsin 70percent of residents depend on groundwater for drinking supply. However, even in a water-rich state like ours, there is plenty to be concerned about. For example, in Madison, growth, development, and over-pumping of groundwater has resulted in a decline of groundwater levels to the extent that in some places, lake water is being pulled into the groundwater, rather than groundwater feeding the Madison’s Yahara lakes. Over the years, UW-Madison has contributed to our community’s huge water consumption and pollution problems. In fact, by 2002 our University’s water usage had reached over 3.1 million gallons per day. This amount is enough to meet the current daily water consumption of over 400,000 people living in Cambodia. Clearly not a sustainable situation! To reverse this growing trend in consumption, the University launched a comprehensive water conservation program in 2002 by replacing inefficient water fixtures (toilets, urinals, shower heads), modifying air conditioning systems, reexamining campus irrigation policies (lawns, trees, shrubs, flower beds), and promoting awareness and education. We are pleased to report that these efforts have resulted in an over 41 percent reduction in our campus’s water consumption. This level of saving is enough to fill two Olympic size swimming pools every day, to reduce our water bill by $700,000 each year, and it’s a perfect example of what happens when we decide to conserve!