Water Reduction – Speech

Hi name is Kaitlyn and this is Oli, Julia, Annabella, Eden, Helena, Maya and Jake and together we are the sustainability leaders for St Joseph’s Primary School in Chelsea.

At the moment our school is working towards its 4th star – our water star. Because of this we wanted our Big Green Schools project to be based around water. We had a lot of small ideas to help reduce the water waste at our school, but we were still waiting for inspiration to work out our major project.

Before we started anything we wanted to know what the children at our school knew about water. We asked them one question ‘Where does water come from?’ We were so shocked when so many students said that water came “from the tap”.

Based on this response we knew that we had to not only pick a project that would make a difference with our schools water use, but also an idea that would help educate the whole school on the importance of water reduction and fresh water.

So far this year we have done a water audit, installed water monitors, placed buckets under our drinking taps, put in water resistant plants and trees, we have had water wise incursions and we have placed water saving signage around the school.

The first thing we did this year was to install water monitors. These monitors have allowed us to track our water use in different parts of the school, and work out when water is used the most.

Looking at our water reading over a fews weeks we could see that at times taps were left on and that as a school we were not using our water tanks to their full potential.

From our water readings we asked every level to conduct a water audit. We asked every level to do this so that we could them be more aware of how the water in our school was being used, and to promote the conversion on different ways to save water.

From this audit we found 2 leaking taps, and that one of our water tanks was half full, yet we were using water from the taps to water our plants. This also prompted us to place buckets under our drinking taps so that we could use that to water our garden.

BUT this was only the start. We wanted to do something BIG something that we could get our whole school and whole community involved in.

Our biggest problem that we were able to establish from both our water monitors and our water audit was we could see that a lot of water was being wasted in the sandpit area. This was due to the fact that the younger children were collecting water in buckets to use in the sandpit and leaving the taps dripping. The children were also using as much water as they wanted to play in the sand pit with them not understanding that there had to be a limit.

We knew that to be successful in helping to reduce the water and to do something BIG for our Big Green Schools Project we needed to target this area of our school.

Our idea…
Based on this issue we decided to set a task to the whole school. We asked them to create a water catcher that could be built and then used in this playground area. The designs we received were amazing and it was hard to select a winner. So we decided to combine several designs to create the best water catcher for our school.

Check out our amazing designs. As you can see every single level had something amazing and creative to share and we were so happy that the whole school got behind us with this project.

Together the sustainability team built and decorated the water catcher so that when it rains it will fill up so that the water collected can be used in the sandpit for play rather than using fresh clean water from the tap.
This is our final design.

Since we have started this action our water levels have decreased and we have seen students becoming more aware and taking more action when it comes to using water. Our daily water use per student has gone down and we are currently ranked 18th best with our water usage out of 968 Victorian schools.

We decided that we needed to ask our original question again ‘Where does water come from’ to the students again to make sure our hard work throughout the year had had a real impact on everyone. We were so happy and proud of ourselves when 94% of children responded with the answer either the sky or rain. With a small percentage of students still not sure we recognise that we still have work to do, but we feel we have made a huge step in educating others about freshwater. We have worked extremely hard this year and we are so proud of our efforts.

We want to thank everyone here for listening to our journey that we have gone on throughout the year, on reducing the amount of water wasted at our school. We look forward to sharing more of our journey on becoming the best sustainable school we can be in the future. Thank you.

By St Josephs Chelsea|2019-08-29T10:59:56+10:00August 29th, 2019|0 Comments