Houston drought requires Rice's cooperation
The city of Houston is in a level two drought, and the situation is much more dire than what most at Rice believe (see story, pg. 1). The harsh shortages are affecting the Houston community, while the Rice community remains largely shielded from the issue within the hedges. However, as per our university's mission statement and essence, we play an integral role in our local community, and that dictates that we become a part of the water shortage solution rather than continue contributing to the problem.
Rice, on the administrative level, has made several motions to limit campus water usage. Rice is retrofitting shower heads and establishing a system to recycle water from air conditioning. However, one can't help but wonder why it takes a major environmental calamity to spur major and decisive change. As a progressive university, we ought to take the initiative to enact these sorts of conservationist measures before the disaster strikes.
This ideal transfers over to college and personal levels where current conservation levels leave much to be desired. Air conditioning is the number one source of water use on campus; thus it is imperative that unbridled air conditioning use no long go unchecked. College commons, lecture halls (see Herztein), and individual dorm rooms are too frequently over-using air conditioning. A little initiative from each student and each college could go a long way in helping Rice and helping Houston grapple with its current water shortage.
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