| Ford Church

Conserving Water Creatively

“When you drink the water, remember the spring” ~Chinese Proverb

  • How much water do you use everyday?
  • Where does your water come from?
  • How long could you survive without water?

The second quarter CAP class chose “water” as their environmental issue. Students got excited about this issue after reading the New York Time article “The Future is Drying Up” by Joe Gertner. The article addresses water rights in the West and the imminent water shortage that Coloradans face if we continue to use water at our current rate of consumption.

After some initial conversations, much research, and feelings of being overwhelmed by such a big issue, students came up with the following problem statement:

In North America, the average American uses 600 liters of water a day, while the average African uses 6. In reality, humans need to use about 50 liters per day. Over consumption of water does not just mean taking long showers, leaving the tap running while you brush your teeth, or watering the lawn. One of our biggest consumers of water is industrial agriculture. To make one cotton T-shirt it takes 9oz of cotton. To make that t-shirt from that cotton it takes 25 bathtubs full of water. In homes, businesses, and industrial agriculture, our water is being polluted and unnecessarily used. As a result of the high demand for water we are putting our scarce supply of fresh water, and ourselves, at risk.

The students did a lot of research to be sure they were well-informed about water issues. The class met with the Keep It Clean Partnership, and took a tour of Boulder’s waste water treatment plant. They also read many articles from water experts. Students researched the sources of their own water and mapped their watersheds.

After much deliberation students decided to address this problem through an educational campaign at their school. The class divided into four groups:

  • The art group created educational posters and a collaborative mural using provocative art
  • A second group created educational pamphlets
  • A third created a movie about water in arid Colorado
  • And to tie it all together the class wrote and performed a skit for the whole school.

The students aim to have their mural displayed in the City of Boulder’s water office. They distributed their pamphlets after their presentation to the whole school. The movie, an animated film which shows what the future might look like if we don’t change our habits was a hit, with one teacher exclaiming, “That was one of the best CAP presentations I’ve ever seen.”

The students worked hard to create a fantastic educational campaign and their water posters remain posted around the school on bathroom doors, above water fountains, and over sinks.

Well Done CAP!

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