Sustainable UF has challenged Greek Gators to cap their water usage.
“It’s a contest where we’re harnessing the competitive nature of students to raise their awareness of water conservation,” said Stacie Greco, water conservation coordinator for the Alachua County Environmental Protection Department.
The competition is a partnership between Alachua County and Sustainable UF, said Laurel Nesbit, program assistant for the UF Office of Sustainability.
Greco said the campaign seeks to emphasize to students in fraternities and sororities the connection between their personal water use and the effect on the springs they like to frequent.
Points are earned through two channels — the first being weekly checks of each house’s percentage reduction in water use and the next being weekly challenges.
The challenges include activities such as playing games at the Sustainability Hut, creating banners and attending presentations about water conservation.
To participate, the houses must register by Dec. 4, said Nesbit, and the contest will take place from Jan. 20 until March 2.
Sustainable UF will be distributing shower timers to all participating houses, as well as low-flow shower heads to the fraternities, which weren’t involved in the contest last year, and all the sorority houses that did not participate.
Prizes were donated by Ginnie Springs and Blue Springs, said Nesbit, and include donations to philanthropies and ticket packages to the parks.
“Their livelihood is really dependent on how well the aquifer is doing,” she said. “They’re very directly impacted by water conservation efforts.”
A version of this story ran on page 4 on 11/21/2013 under the headline "UF Greeks trying to save water"