Action Plan

Teacher Resources

Student Activities

Other Resources

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What's the Cost of Not Conserving?

Researching information, surveying people, doing water audits, and finding out more about our precious water resources should help students realize that the cost of learning to conserve water is far less expensive than not conserving and having more water shortages and restrictions.

Water Activities to Download


• Learn about xeriscaping. Download the Xeriscape newsletter and follow the plans. Use the blackline master to design a water conserving landscape area.

• Download My Water Activities Booklet. This can be used with younger students to help them understand the issues your group is learning about and presenting to others.

• Download the Showerlock Holmes Case and have students investigate how much water individuals use a day. This is a simple, interesting way to do a water audit.

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Water Topics - Concepts


• Review facts on water useage and the need to conserve. (Utilize links online and other source materials for this.) It is important that students realize the connection between conservation and the available water supply.

Water Conservation- Kids' Page is a site by Soutwest Florida Water Management with many resources to help you plan an awareness campaign, provide materials for lessons, and lots of information. http://www.swfwmd.state.fl.us/ppr/publications/files/kids.htm

WaterWiser Drip Calculator Helps measure and estimate water wasted due to leaks and drips. Offers two ways to measure, one for smaller leaks and one for more rapid leaks. Students simply count the drips in a minute or use a stopwatch to see how long it takes to fill an eight ounce cup and the calculations of how many gallons per day, month, and year are figured for them. (See student activity for Drip Calculator.)

• Water Conservation Brochures in pdf format including ones on xeriscaping and 50 Ways to do your part tips brochure.

Find out about local water conservation projects or efforts by clicking on the U.S. map. You may locate a project you can join or find one to replicate in your community.

• Emphasize how plants, animals, and people depend on water in order to live. Stress the responsibility of citizens (regardless of age) to protect water resources. When they think what they do doesn't matter, remind them that it is often said that "Every drop counts."

• Stress that water conservation is about practices that use less water. A basic foundation of the water or hydrology cycle is needed prior to beginning the activities. Students should also be familiar with some basic facts about water. Have students view "Water for Life" online.

• Hands-on Activities from The Water Sourcebook Designed for use by teachers, non-formal educators, and water quality professionals. The Water Sourcebook series covers today's most important water environment topics.

Grades 3-5
Water Goes Around and Comes Around
Waste Not, Want Not
Water Works
Water-Wise Landscaping



Water Resources


• View a list of books and information available at Other Resources in the Bibliography and More which might help you and students as your learn more about water and water conservation.

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Language Arts Activities



• List restrictions on water in your area/state/region/country. Discuss why restrictions are in place. List/research conservation efforts for the area (ex. toilet trade-in). How do restrictions relate or translate to community/businesses? Present your findings to other classes or groups.

• Look at alternative water sources: reclaimed, desalination, rehydration, reuse. Find out what these terms mean and how they can help with the water problem.

Environmental Education Regional Service Project, Region IV provides valuable information for teachers.The Watershed Information Sourcebook - Reading and Writing Naturally is probably the most valuable.

On-line Research



• Research water saving devices (online and contact local businesses which may carry such products) such as waterless urinals at http://falconwaterfree.com or High efficiency toilets which details information about these water saving devices.

• Print out a guide to water saving devices and vendors (PDF format) which carry them. Students may want to contact vendors for more information. Links to their websites are given if available. The list of items may stimulate discussions about how many different types of items have been invented to help conserve water and how many of them the public may not even realize exist such as an electric incinerating toilet.

• Look at the Conservation Chart
which shows benchmarks of water use with and without conservation for typical home water uses. Have students do a water audit for their daily use of water to see how much they use. Have them find out if their home has water saving devices. http://www.epa.gov/OW-OWM.html/water-efficiency/wave0319/fig-a1.htm

Energy Star Appliances
What are they and what does this rating mean? Check out the washing machine calculator and dishwasher calculator to see what your water savings could be.

• Look into water audits and ways businesses can audit their use, retrofit costs, and savings. (WAVE software) Prepare graphs to illustrate water saving through conservation, xeriscaping or water saving devices. Prepare presentations using information. WAVEsaver
Can be used by commercial businesses or schools to input small data set and see water use and what the use would be after retrofit with water saving devices. See the savings for water and sewer use. Default values are available if there is no data for the facility. Students could offer to do the calulations for a business or their school.
PDF Wavesaver Software file

• Help xeriscape a portion of your school yeard. Use Water Efficient Landscape Planner - free software to help you plan a water efficient landscape. Covers guidelines and suggestions to select the most appropriate plants. Is available in Spanish as well.

Creating a Water-Wise Landscape provides a brief, easy to understand outline on how to create a landscape which will conserve water. Students can use this information to help parents, schools or local businesses plan their planting for water efficiency.

Good List of References to water sites.

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Water Activities to Create


• Prepare brochures, create posters, write articles or letters. Discuss what students can do to help make others more aware of the problem, the need to conserve and possible solutions/efforts which can be part of the solution. Perhaps they might arrange a visit with another class, another school, or business owners to make a presentation of their finding using a PowerPoint show.

• Use some of the tips included in 100 Ways to Save Water - Tips on saving water or 50 Ways to Do Your Part to create your brochures or presentations.

• Prepare surveys of water use to distribute to parents, schools, and businesses so they can evaluate and/or calculate water use. Target businesses might be hotels in tourist areas.

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Math Activity


Water Waster Challenge has a mathematical challenge for students and tips for teachers with information on NCTM standards.The "Water Waster " challenge requires that children work with the number and operations content strand of mathematics. They will need to subtract to find the savings gained by hand washing dishes, then multiply (or add repeatedly) that savings by the number of times dishes are washed during the weekend. Figuring out how many washings and teeth brushings will occur requires good number sense and computation skills. The challenge is just complicated enough so that the children need to do some careful thinking about the total savings.


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