Marty Laporte receives water conservation award

Marty Laporte
Marty Laporte

MARTY LAPORTE, associate director of utilities for environmental quality and water efficiency, has been awarded a lifetime achievement award from the Silicon Valley Water Conservation Awards. The awards are given by a coalition of groups concerned about water conservation and the need for a strategic response to droughts and to a new era of water scarcity, according the the award website.

Under Laporte’s leadership, Stanford has reduced its water use by 600,000 gallons per day, in spite of a growth of 2.5 million square feet of new campus facilities. After a 22-year career at Stanford, Laporte is retiring this month.

Laporte founded Stanford’s water conservation program in 2001, and under her leadership the university developed a Water Conservation, Reuse and Recycling Master Plan. The program facilitated the retrofit of more than 13,000 bathroom fixtures, replaced inefficient lab equipment with water-efficient models, installed water-saving devices in large campus kitchens, installed water-miser devices on steam sterilizers (autoclaves) and improved the efficiency of landscape irrigation.

Laporte started a pilot study program to test the effectiveness of new water-efficiency technology. As a result, Stanford was an early adopter of weather-based irrigation controllers and advanced metering infrastructure, commonly known as real-time metering, allowing daily or hourly water use data to help detect leaks.

In response to the drought, monthly water report cards are now issued to each major group on campus, providing a check-in on water use and conservation status that helps identify where to focus efforts.