Water in New York City is plentiful and relatively inexpensive, but look to California in recent years to see how rapidly situations can change. Over the last ten years, the price of water has more than doubled in New York City, and water makes up a significant portion (7 percent) of The New School's utility budget.
Water consumption is interconnected with energy and has secondary effects. For example, moving water requires electricity-intensive pumping, and hot water requires large heat inputs. Air-conditioning systems often require water, which is evaporated to reject heat.
Much of the water on campus is consumed by restroom fixtures (faucets, urinals, water closets), particularly in dormitories. A large part of the remainder is consumed by building cooling systems during summer months. The most effective way to reduce the school's water consumption is through occupant awareness, more efficient water fixtures, and mechanical system management.