Be Water Wise During EE Week

April 10th, 2010 by Krissy
Dual flush toilets can be installed at your school to save up to 68% of your water use compared to a conventional toilet.

Dual flush toilets can be installed at your school to save up to 68% of your water use compared to a conventional toilet.

Get you school involved in National Environmental Education Week which runs from April 11th to the 17th.  The theme this year is Be Water and Energy Wise.  Water and energy conservation are a very important part of the Chesapeake restoration effort.  As more and more people move into the Chesapeake region our need for electricity and water increases while the supply remains about the same.  So how can we address the needs of a growing population?  The answer is simple through CONSERVING our resources.

So how can YOUR class CONSERVE during EE Week?

Hold a School Water Audit

Stream studies provide students a hands-on experience to understand how our water resources become polluted. Photo Source: University of Maryland

Stream studies provide students a hands-on experience to understand how our water resources become polluted. Photo Source: University of Maryland

School water audits are a great way to get the entire school involved in a project for EE Week.  Audits are fun, hands-on and educational.  During a water audit your students will examine the ways they use water everyday and then discuss ways they can conserve water by using it more efficiently.  Look through the Water Audit Teacher’s Guide to find out how to get your school involved before, during and after your water audit.

Then use the Water Audit Lesson to actually conduct an audit at your school.  In this lesson students will examine the school’s water use over the past year, use flow meters to determine how much water sinks and toilets use and finally compare water use between classrooms.  Once your school completes its water audit you can share your data online with classrooms around the country!

Test the Water in Your Creek

Testing the quality of  the water in your local creek or river is a great way to engage students in hands-on learning about our water resources.  By purchasing a simple water testing kit (about $30) you can test your stream for the following:

  • Temperature
  • Turbidity/Clarity
  • pH
  • Nitrate
  • Phosphate
  • Coliform Bacteria
  • Dissolved Oxygen
  • Biochemical Oxygen Demand
  • Macro-Invertebrates

Using the water testing kit students can record observations about the health of their local stream.  With data in hand, you can examine the land around the stream to hypothesize why the stream is healthy or polluted.   Your class map pipes from stormdrains and development in the area to try to determine the source of your water pollution.  Using this information students can then suggest ways to redesign development to minimize the impact on our water resources.

So get involved and BE WATER WISE this week! Tell us how your class is BEING WATER WISE! Leave a comment below with what your class is doing and one teacher will receive a packet full of resources.

Additional Resources
Water and Energy Conservation Lessons – Bay Backpack
Water and Energy Saving Ideas for Schools – EE Week

Filed under: News,Teaching Resources
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Krissy Hopkins is a former Chesapeake Bay Program Staffer and is currently pursuing her PhD in geology at the University of Pittsburgh.

1 Comment »

  1. Autumn Falkner…

    Very informative blog.Really thank you! Really Great….

    Trackback by Autumn Falkner — December 6, 2011 @ 7:00 am

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