Water is really important for all life, we use it for drinking, washing, to manufacture and it forms the foundation for much of the life around us.
Human demand for water is so vast that the natural water cycle often can’t keep up. Today, people live much closer together so rainfall is often not enough to supply large populations.
In many areas of the world, sewage leaks, chemical discharges, oil spills and other pollutants have made clean water a rarity. Getting going with water -
Conduct a water audit
Start by getting a understanding of the problem by addressing specific issues relating to water wastage. The school caretaker could show the pupils how to take readings from the water meters and survey the school for leaky taps.
Create a pledge or poem
The entire school community should be involved (whether it be creation, design or promotion). Citizenship or human geography classes are a great place to talk about the meaning and values of saving water.
Install water saving technology
Water saving technology is low cost and enables your school to save money on water bills. Some water companies provide schools with interest free loans to cover the cost of water saving technology that can be paid back with the savings made on the water bill. Contact your water company to find out if they are currently running such a scheme.
Identify life depending commodities
Identify a commodity that you could not do without (e.g. water) and explore what would happen if it was no longer available, how it would affect them. Share this on the eco-notice board to help raise awareness.
Members from the Eco-committee can plot graphs from water consumption data and discuss trends/patterns/unusual consumption and debate actions required to save water. The analysis can also be displayed on the eco-notice board and reported, by the pupils, to the whole school in assembly.
Promote Good Water practices - workshops and guest speakers from Water Aid (www.wateraid.org/uk/) can help pupils understand the local and global impacts of water wastage and help develop smarter water consumption habits.
Encourage personalised water bottles
A lot of schools have drinking fountains around school. Promoting each pupil to have a water bottle (clearly labelled with their name) which can they refill encourages pupils to drink water regularly whilst reusing the bottle.
More ideas -
- Brown water harvesting, where you collect water on the roof to use to flush toilets
- Water Butts, collect water off the roof by fixing to a downpipe, it is more practical to have it near a garden so that you can use the water to water the growing beds
- Do an activity where students carry buckets of water around the playground of all the water they use in a day. This is what children all around the world have to do after school. How would they save water if they had to carry it?
- Schools can install water saving taps and toilets and put devices into the kitchen
- Children are made responsible for ensuring water isn’t wasted in school
Other activities and case studies from Eco-Schools can be found on both the Eco-Schools website and the Pod website. Don’t forget you can contact your local Green Flag Ambassador school for advice too.
For a range of lessons to help combine litter topic with the curriculum visit the Eco-Schools website
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