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What's the Cost of Not Conserving?

Using the SWISH Slide Show

  • To become more aware of water uses and abuses.
  • To become more knowledgeable of potential water wasting situations.
  • To brainstorm ways to conserve water.
  • To practice problem solving in groups.
  • To understand some of the issues surrounding limited water resources.
  • To examine the water problem as it affects homes, businesses, and communities.
  • To use basic math and writing skills to complete activity.


The S.W.I.S.H. Slide Show takes students on a case with Miss Con Serve, a student detective, to the local town hotel. The hotel is seeing a monthly increase in its water use even though the number of guests is not increasing. The mystery then is, "Where is all the water going?" As new SWISH team members, students are led through some basic water wasting areas so they can become more knowledgeable about things to look at when evaluating water use at home, school, or in a business.


Print out the S.W.I.S.H. Slide guide for students to use while going through the 12 slides. (This is a PDF file. See link at the bottom of page to download Acrobat Reader if needed.)

Print out the S.W.I.S.H. Report Sheet to use at the end of the slide show. (This is a PDF file. See link at the bottom of page to download Acrobat Reader if needed.) An online version is also available. This is an open-ended form which you can use to direct students to complete in as much detail as you feel appropriate for your group.

Print out S.W.I.S.H. badges, membership cards and pledge cards.
(These are PDF file. See link at the bottom of page to download Acrobat Reader if needed.)


Have students view the slide show individually, in pairs, or small groups depending on your situation. Be sure each student has their own guide sheet to complete.

Have students discuss their ideas about the water problems encountered as they traveled through various water use areas in the hotel.

Have students brainstorm ways that the amounts of water used could be cut back or conserved in their home and school based on what they learned through the slideshow.

Provide students time to research more information (link to more information provided at the end of the slide show) and to write up their reports. Especially valuable might be references to water saving fixtures/devices. Have students check to see if they have these in their own home/school.

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 same water that was here when dinosaurs roamed and yet the population and uses for water is increasing.

Issue students S.W.I.S.H. badges, membership cards and pledge cards so they can become S.W.I.S.H. Team members. Links for these PDF files are on the printables page (or see Materials above).

Have students conduct a S.W.I.S.H. water audit of their own in the school or at a local business. Go through the same steps or areas as the S.W.I.S.H. Team did in the slideshow, modifying procedures as needed depending on the site selected. Their S.W.I.S.H. reports should be a guide to them as they decide what to look for and how to make constructive suggestions to those in charge when they are done.

Use the results of your audit to plan your group's presentation or action campaign to make others aware of water conservation issues and ways to save water!



Can students provide an answer to the question - What is the cost of not conserving water? Answers should include monetary factors, environmental items, restrictions, and shortages of fresh water along with others they discover.

Develop a rubric for their S.W.I.S.H. Report which covers the content obtained from the slideshow and information offered on ways to conserve. The latter may be based on additional research done utilizing online resources and books or other materials.

You can download the free Acrobat Reader software if needed to print the PDF files included in this resource.