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What's the Cost of Not Conserving?

How much water do students use each day?

Objectives:

  • To become more aware of water uses.
  • To brainstorm ways to conserve water in typical daily uses.
  • To use math skills to compute a water audit showing the amount of water used.

Let students guess how much water they think they might use in a day. During your discussion create a list of the various uses of water they encounter during a typical day. They can use this list as a basis for a chart they can make to do a water audit and see how much water they use each day.

Students could also do an audit of how much water the class uses while at school. Try to include the items that others do for them that use water such as cooking their lunches in the school cafeteria or cleaning up the classroom and taking care of the school grounds.

Many water uses may have to be estimated. A chart of common amounts of water used for basic items is provided on the Printables page or you can utilize the Showerlock Homes chart included in the link below.

Another way to do a water audit to is to have students use the Water Calculator online using Watch Your Water Ways! Understanding where and how much water we use is the first step in beginning to conserve one of our most precious resources. This simple home water checkup will allow students to track household consumption, both indoors and outdoors. After calculating the water use patterns, students can begin to discuss how they can begin conserving in ways that work best for their lifestyle.

Download the Showerlock Holmes Case and have students investigate how much water their family uses each day using this lesson. This 2-page investigation is a pdf file that can be printed out.

After students complete their audits have them share their results. It is estimated that most people use between 100 - 150 gallons per day. See how your students' numbers compare to these. Brainstorm what they think could help save water used during a typical day.

Did they notice any leaky fixtures or water wasting during their audits?

Were the toilets, showers, and sink faucets water-saving or older models?

Discuss the water restrictions in your area and/or the need to conserve our water supply. You might wish to have students use the links and activities in the Student section on this site to research more information. Students may not realize that the water that is on Earth today is the the same water that was here when dinosaurs roamed.

Distribute the 50 Ways to do Your Part. (See printables page for this PDF file.) See if the ideas listed here might help them see ways to save and conserve water.

Now, perhaps it is time to plan your group's action campaign to make others aware of water conservation issues and ways to save water based on what they have learned!