Fordham’s Lincoln Center campus will be signing on to Mayor Bill de Blasio’s 2018 Water Challenge to New York City universities. The effort is part of an overall strategy by the New York City Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) to reduce the city’s water consumption by 20 million gallons by 2022.

“We are pleased to be part of this effort to conserve a valuable resource,” said Marco A. Valera, vice president for facilities management at Fordham. “Although this NYC challenge is for the Lincoln Center campus, we will be taking similar steps at our Rose Hill campus.”

According to the DEP, universities can make a big dent in citywide water demand, as New York is home to more university students than any other city in the nation. The goal will be to reduce water consumption by at least 5 percent by 2020. Water use in residence halls, dining halls, and irrigation of green spaces are will all be targeted.

“The NYC Water Challenge is a fantastic opportunity for Fordham to reflect and reorient our urban water responsibility—to reflect on patterns of use and waste, and to reorient toward conscious water consumption on individual and institutional levels,” said Christiana Zenner, Ph.D., associate professor of theology, whose research examines water as a scarce resource and as a commodity. “The NYDEP’s vision is concrete, constructive, and creative.”

The challenge lasts two years, from August 1, 2018 through July 31, 2020. As a participant, Fordham will be provided with technical assistance from the city to complement an already robust sustainability program.





Tom Stoelker is senior staff writer and visual media coordinator for Fordham News. After fifteen years as a freelance designer, Tom shifted his focus to writing and photography. He graduated from Lehman College, CUNY where he majored in English literature and photography and he received his master's in journalism from Columbia University. His work has appeared in The Philadelphia Inquirer, The Wall Street Journal, and The Architect's Newspaper, where he was associate editor.