WaterFillz Kiosks deliver better water, reduce waste 

WaterFillz kiosks are located in all academic and administration buildings and in many residences on campus. The kiosks provide fresh, free, filtered water to students, faculty and staff who bring their reusable bottles to the stations for fill-up.

Installation of the units was made possible by a partnership between the Sustainability Office, Facilities Management and UBC Students’ Union Okanagan.

The WaterFillz kiosks help reduce plastic bottle waste generated on campus, with digital counters that track the number of plastic bottles reduced. The units, which purify and cool the water, use only 12 watts of electricity in their ultraviolet purification stage. When the custom-designed refrigeration unit is running to cool the water to 38 degrees F, it only requires 46 watts of power versus vending machines that can draw over 1,500 watts of power.

Water Conservation


  • Hunter Wireless System: wireless irrigation system that adjusts or ceases watering times based on temperature, precipitation, and wind speed.
  • Astroturf sports field: eliminates water required for irrigation
  • Low flow fixtures in all new buildings: reduces unnecessary water use
  • Xeriscaping: supports a large reduction in water use

Hunter Wireless System

Technology that works with the Okanagan climate ensures that campus irrigation systems are used only when conditions require it. The new Hunter IMMS 2.0 irrigation management monitoring system implemented across campus automatically adjusts or ceases watering times on low temperature (3 degrees c), precipitation (1/8 to 1 inch) or if wind speed is great that 20 km/h. Another useful feature with this system is the metering aspect that is built into the software – when zone information such as number of heads, gallons per minute of each head, and watering time is inputted a water usage figure can be obtained.

To reduce irrigation demands even further, artificial turf has replaced the natural turf sports field on campus, which, as an added bonus, extends the playing season for UBC Okanagan athletes and students.

Astroturf Field

The campus’ Nonis Sports Field is equipped with artificial turf to eliminate water required for irrigation. It is characterized by permeated artificial turf that requires no watering, mowing, pesticide or fertilizer use.

Fitness & Wellness Landscaping

A patchwork of drought-resistant plants around The Hangar Fitness and Wellness Centre marked a sustainability precedent at UBC’s Okanagan campus in 2013. The small but significant xeriscaping job inaugurated the Campus as a Living Lab ad hoc committee. Drought-tolerant Eco Smart Blend sod and water-wise plants were planted. Along with the xeriscaping, two sand volleyball courts were built adjacent to The Hangar, further reducing additional watering requirement and actualizing the students’ desire for more recreation amenities on campus.

Rainwater Management

Rainwater that falls onto the Okanagan campus is collected and piped into an engineered retention pond located on campus, diverting water from the City of Kelowna’s stormwater system. The pond acts as a filtration system for campus rainwater, preventing harmful materials from entering Okanagan Lake. The sustainable management of the campus’ rainwater is an ongoing project, which seeks to maintain 100 per cent diversion of campus rainwater from the City’s water system. The campus’ additional use of bio-swales in new construction landscaping aides to convey surface water, enhances infiltration and reduces surface runoff. Bio-swales prevent environmental degradation and damage to property infrastructure from rainwater run-off. Read more about how the campus is managing rainwater on campus here.