Water is one of the most precious resources on Earth and becoming more so every year. The key to maintain this resource is to learn how to use it more efficiently, not only at home but also in the workplace and in school. School can, at first sight, seem like the most difficult place to do it because of the nature of the organization.
So, how can you conserve water at school? You can conserve water at school by, for example, installing low-flow water outlets, implementing a water action plan, fixing up any water leak you may have, curtailing the water used in food preparation, or changing the landscape of the school grounds.
However, these strategies are not the only ones. School owners are usually confused about the techniques they could use in conserving water. In the rest of this post, we will go over all the different actions that you can take to conserve water at school.
What Are The Water Conservation Techniques That Can Be Applied At Schools?
As we just have mentioned, school owners are sometimes confused about the techniques that can be applied to conserve water at school. We have collected here nine of them. With adherence to them, you will manage to save a lot of water, and at the same time you will be doing the world and yourself a lot of good.
Here are the techniques that could help in water conservation:
Implement a water action plan
Successfully conserving water in your school has to be a deliberate effort. You would need to think it through and then come up with a workable water action plan. This plan is what would keep the habit of conserving water for a long time.
Well, you may be wondering how you could set that in motion but follow through.
So, I would suggest that you make it a step by step process. Here are a few steps that you could adopt in achieving your goal:
- Set up a team of managers: It should contain both your staff and pupils. Engaging the pupils is a critical step. This can also become a sort of extra-curriculum project for them. Their goal would be to ensure they monitor the water conservation policy and promote the ideology as well.
- Organize a thorough water audit: This step entails going around the school building and taking conscious note of all the water outlets. Ensure you do not leave any area out even those that may not be used often.
- Draft out possible reduction tools: Here, I would advise that you acquire components or a variety of low-flow technologies that would help contain the water flow.
Note that once you have the water action plan in motion, you should also expect some setbacks. However, with time, you would be able to reach your conservation goal.
To get a better understanding of all the places where you are using water in your school, have a look at our post “What Are Some of the Uses of Water in School?“.
Get everyone involved
Conserving water isn’t achieved by just setting policies, but getting everything on the same page would get you a step closer to achieving your goal. So, I would advise that you get the school staff, students as well as the parents together on this.
You can start up by getting those that are already big on saving up water and would want to push as such. They could start little campaigns and also instill the water-saving culture on the children by active influencing.
This is a similar strategy to what we recommended in our post “How Can We Reduce Waste In Schools?“, where we explained the strategies to follow if you want to reduce the amount of waste produced in your school.
Other things you could do are:
- Place attention-grabbing stickers and signs that promote water saving.
- Regularly add it to your daily scheme of events to remind the students.
- Showcase the water-saving milestone for all to see at each progress point.
- Share the implementation tasks among as many people as you possibly can.
These are not all the ways you could try getting the staff, students, and teachers involved, but this would go a long way.
Stick to low-flows water outlets
Water conservation is an economic thing to do in your school. Therefore, the first step is to be economical with all your water outlets. Get eco taps for schools as they bring down the normal level of water consumption. It is estimated that low-flow taps can save as much as fifty percent of your water consumption. Yet you are certain that that you have the same quality and no possibility of a negative effect.
However, if you want your old taps to stay in place, then you can find something that would keep them in place. You can try out low-cost aerators as they have similar effects as would low-flow taps. Also, if your budget is a bit more flexible, then you can try out sensor taps.
Another outlet in your school that would need to be managed is the shower heads in the school. I would recommend that you go for an eco-shower as it also saves as much as fifty percent for you. Your quality still remains intact, and your water usage is considerably dropped.
Note that going low flow is an added advantage as it helps reduce the carbon emission and the amount of energy required to heat up water.
Fix up any water leak in the area
One major way of wasting water is the presence of leaks in the school. These leaks may have been caused by the taps or tanks wearing out, or simply by an active act of vandalization.
Well, to get started with this process, you would need to know all the leaking areas.
In the first technique we discussed, the water action plan, I talked about going on a trip to find out all the school’s possible outlets. While doing that, check out for broken taps and leaking tanks that may cause water to come out unprovoked while you do that.
It is speculated that just one toilet with a water leak could initiate a waste reaching up to fifty gallons of water each day. When it’s a showerhead or a broken tap, you could be counting up to one thousand gallons of wastewater.
See why you should fix up that leak?
By calling a plumber or technician to fix this kind of leaks in your school, you would be saving a large amount of water. This alone can make for as much as thirty percent of your saving target. However, once you notice the leak, it would be a good thing to shut off the supply to that channel until everything is back in order.
Curtail the water used in food preparation
Food preparation is another way that you could consume excessive water. Having to wash out several of your kitchen accessories and food items may cost more water than is necessary. This is one area you would have to look into when on your journey to water conservation.
Here are things to remedy this:
- Stick to low-flow models: You can start by replacing your regular pre-rinse sprayers with the models tagged as low-flow. They can help you cut down the water consumption by default.
- Check your hot water temperature: An overly high temperature would consume water, so just turn down the temperature. You can try something a bit less intense on your dishwasher or cleaning.
- Go full dishwasher mode: During my research, it was speculated that full dishwasher use saves more water than the regular hand wash. Hand wash takes three gallons per minute, while dishwashers use six gallons for an entire load. You can also buy water-efficient machines to be on the safe side.
- Replace running taps with sinks: Generally, you may love washing your food items like vegetables or even fruits under running water. I would suggest you wash them in the sink rather than directly from the tap itself.
With all of these in place, ensure that you instruct your kitchen staff. Since they are the ones that do the food preparations, then it’s only normal that you get them in on this. If you don’t convince them of the importance of this process, you will be setting yourself for failure.
So, be sure to explain to them why this is important and try to get them to buy into it as much as possible.
Set up plugs and bowls in the area
There is always this temptation to let the tap run when you need to wash or clean. This is a way staff and students usually waste water. An easy way to get them conscious is by getting plugs and installing bowls around all the sinks in the classrooms, toilets, and even art rooms.
You can always prompt the art staff and students to conserve water as well. They also love to wash out their brushes under running water, and they would waste a lot of water using that. They can rinse off their brushes inside bowls or a container instead of just under the tap.
Cover up the swimming pools
An open swimming pool can easily dry up due to evaporation and then require constant refilling. Now you would need to curtail this need for refilling by instilling a new procedure with the pools. You can get a tarp or whatever pool cover that you may find and then use them to cover the area when it is not in use. This would shield it from the sun or even stop it from getting dirty easily.
With a swimming pool cover, the amount of backwashing you would normally do would be reduced. From being a daily thing, you can now decide to have the pools cleaned once every two to three days, based on how frequently the students use it.
A backwash system that picks up water is quite convenient in water conservation as well. It can be recycled for use on the ground and other school areas that may need cleaning.
Also important is to ensure that anyone going into the pool makes use of a shower before getting in. This would help reduce how dirty the pool gets.
You may be wondering how this would conserve water since you still have to use the shower. Well, with the help of a push-button poolside shower, you can also optimize the amount of water being used.
Check out the plants on school grounds
If you have plants and trees around the school then you may need some sort of irrigation every now and then. This would help the plants stay fresh and keep them existing within the premises. However, in extremely hot weather, it is only normal that they need to be watered more frequently due to the heat. With this, you would be losing a lot of water, and then you would have to take active measures to conserve this.
So, here is what you do!
- Make use of mulch: Placing mulch around the trees and plants would help keep the moisture in. It keeps the soil cool for the plants, thereby reducing the need for irrigation.
- Use drought-resistant trees and plants: If you intend to have the plants or trees at the hillside or banks, then it is important that you get those that are drought resistant. They require less effort in maintenance and would save you a lot.
If your school is located in a drought-prone area, you can consider changing your school grounds and focus a bit more on xeriscaping instead of landscaping.
Xeriscaping basically uses drought-resistant vegetation and less greenery in order to save water. You can read a bit more about it in our blog posts “What are the Benefits of Xeriscaping?” & “Is Xeriscaping Worth It?“
Don’t forget the toilets
With the best of low flow toilets installed in the school, you can save as much as eighty-four percent of the water used regularly in toilets. You can also save as much as eighty percent of the energy consumed by the standard toilets you may find around with energy.
You can even try out models that have the option for a dual flush. They tend to get almost the same results. You can choose a shorter flush after each use, depending on the situation. All you may require is to educate the users on which give them a shorter flush as well as situations that they apply.
However, if you find it hard to get a full-scale refitting of the toilets, get displacement bags. You can place them in your cistern, as it aids in bringing down your water use to the barest minimum. Also, remember that maintenance programs are also important, and you should have them scheduled as well.
How Can Parents Help in Teaching The Students on Water Conservation?
You can never overemphasize the importance of parents or legal guardians, in the life of the students. Parents are a vital part of achieving a successful conservation culture in schools. The students look up to them and would replicate whatever they are taught at home, in school.
Here are how they can do that:
- Consciously sensitize your kids on saving up water.
- Parents can be advised them to take quicker showers.
- Fix up any water leaks in their homes.
- Eliminate the use of any form of recreational water toy.
- Teach them to close the tap while brushing.
With these few implementations, it would be much easier to get the students to adopt similar practices in school. I would say that children learn more from their parents at a young age. Therefore with a water conservation culture already instilled at home, they would surely have it easy at school.
Reasons for Conserving Water at School
Now that we have seen all the different ways you have to conserve water, it is time to talk a bit about why. Because, with a strong why, overcoming the barriers that will inevitably appear on the way will become easier.
Fresh and clean water is quite a rare resource these days as they are severe droughts happening in several parts of the world. Though seventy percent of the earth is covered in water, finding clean, consumable water can be quite a hassle depending on where you live.
So, saving water has become unquestionably important. It is essential in everything that we do, and schools are not an exemption. For you to understand the importance of conserving water, check out the following uses below:
Water is used in food production
If you are going to have vegetables and fruits grow, then water is a significant part of that process. Without these food sources, then there would be a shortage of food.
While in the first world we take food for granted, a shortage of food can become a reality if the water problem becomes even worse.
Less water reduces expenses
As a school, your water bill would be over the roof if you do not conserve water. The students and staff alike would always need water. If you don’t have them on the conservative side, you would be paying a lot more than you should pay.
Therefore, water conservation practices would save the school a lot of cash, as well as the ecosystem.
There is a limited supply of water already
Out of the seventy percent of the available water on earth, it only a considerable low fraction that is safe for consumption. You could say about 0.03 percent of the planet is covered in freshwater. With a steady increase in the world’s population, it is expected that you conserve water to help preserve the resources.
As a school, you can adopt water conservation procedures in your school, not just to save the school resources. You can do that to help keep the world safe from lacking water.
Water conservation also saves up energy
Always pumping of water to replenish the one wasted has a way of doubling your electricity bills. So, apart from a hike in your water bills, your electricity would also encounter the same rise.
Conserving water is crucial to the survival of the human race, and schools can be a driving force in the change of mentality. In the end, the children of today will become the adults of the future. Teaching them this good habit at a young age will help them bring it throughout their lives.
If you are interested in learning how to reduce our impact on this planet by reducing what we dispose of, you can also check our post “How Can We Reduce Solid Waste?“. In this post, we tackle specifically how to reduce solid waste in all the different environments we live and work in.