Many issues surround water, whether it is stormwater, drinking water, or waste water; quantity, quality, flow.  We want the right kind, in the right amount, in the right place, at the right time.

Potable water

Water bottle filling stations

  • Water bottle filling stations are the new standard around campus. 
  • New and renovated spaces have bottle filling stations that make it easier to refill your own bottle.

City of Kent Water

City of Kent wins award for best tasting tap water.  


Green roofs can be effectively used to reduce stormwater runoff from commercial, industrial, and residential buildings. In contrast to traditional asphalt or metal roofing, green roofs absorb, store, and later evapotranspire initial precipitation, thereby acting as a stormwater management system and reducing overall peak flow discharge to a storm sewer system. Furthermore, conventional roofing can act as a source for numerous toxic pollutants including lead, zinc, pyrene, and chrysene (Vane Metre and Mahler, 2003). (USEPA)

Stormwater management 

Kent State University, through its Stormwater Management Program, promotes stewardship of the lakes, creeks and rivers in and around all University campuses, and works to maintain regulatory compliance with applicable federal, state, and local stormwater regulations. The university performs regular storm water monitoring, and inspects construction sites and university facilities to confirm and enforce compliance. The Outreach program promotes stormwater pollution prevention and natural resource stewardship by providing related education to students, faculty, staff, and visitors. These efforts protect our creeks, lakes, and rivers to maintain and improve our water resource.

Bioretention AREAS

Bioretention areas, or rain gardens, are landscaping features adapted to provide on-site treatment of stormwater runoff. They are commonly located in parking lot islands or within small pockets of residential land uses. Surface runoff is directed into shallow, landscaped depressions. These depressions are designed to incorporate many of the pollutant removal mechanisms that operate in forested ecosystems. During storms, runoff ponds above the mulch and soil in the system. Runoff from larger storms is generally diverted past the facility to the storm drain system. The remaining runoff filters through the mulch and prepared soil mix. The filtered runoff can be collected in a perforated underdrain and returned to the storm drain system.  (USEPA)

Permeable Pavement  

Pervious concrete, also known as porous, gap-graded, or enhanced porosity concrete, is concrete with reduced sand or fines and allows water to drain through it.  Pervious concrete over an aggregate storage bed will reduce stormwater runoff volume, rate, and pollutants. The reduced fines leave stable air pockets in the concrete and a total void space of between 15 and 35 percent, with an average of 20 percent. The void space allows stormwater to flow through the concrete which effectively reduces and improves storm water runoff. (USEPA)

Stormwater Wetlands

Stormwater wetlands (a.k.a. constructed wetlands) are structural practices similar to wet ponds (see Wet Ponds fact sheet) that incorporate wetland plants into the design. As stormwater runoff flows through the wetland, pollutant removal is achieved through settling and biological uptake within the practice. Wetlands are among the most effective stormwater practices in terms of pollutant removal and they also offer aesthetic and habitat value. Although natural wetlands can sometimes be used to treat stormwater runoff that has been properly pretreated, stormwater wetlands are fundamentally different from natural wetland systems. Stormwater wetlands are designed specifically for the purpose of treating stormwater runoff, and typically have less biodiversity than natural wetlands in terms of both plant and animal life. Several design variations of the stormwater wetland exist, each design differing in the relative amounts of shallow and deep water, and dry storage above the wetland. (USEPA)

Waste Water

Waste water produced on campus is processed by the City of Kent’s Water Reclamation Division.  


The Crooked River Commute, started in 2013 is the first kayaking trek along the Cuyahoga River from Kent State University's main campus to Kent State's Cleveland Urban Design Collaborative intended to promote the river as a shared regional asset for education, recreation, and sustainability.


Environmental Science and Design Research Initiative Symposium

The Environmental Science and Design Symposium is a multidisciplinary forum that promotes the exchange of ideas related to the resiliency of natural and built systems. This year’s theme, “Complexity of Environmental Legacies”, reflects the challenges of developing sustainable systems in landscapes transformed by decades of modification and contamination. Speakers from a wide range of disciplines (fashion, geology, geography, architecture, and ecology) will address topics related to urban, sustainability, restoration, and the integration of design with biological systems.

Registration is free and open to the public.  You may support the symposium, attend, submit abstracts for poster presentations, and encourage other students and colleagues to attend!

ESDRI Symposium


Everyone lives in a watershed! A watershed is an area of land that separates where water flows: rivers, basins, or seas. Find out what watershed you live in and Watershed Groups near you.

View the Ohio Watershed Network's Watershed Map