Water is a very precious resource and one that we tend to take for granted. However, water isn’t as abundant as we think. In England and Wales we have only 1,334 cubic metres (m3) per person a year – much less than France or even hotter countries such as Italy and Spain.
Water organisations have an important role to play in managing, treating and distributing supplies to make sure that our demand for clean, fresh water is satisfied. But this process is expensive – and will become more so as our demand for water grows.
A vast amount of water is lost due to faulty and leaking pipes and dripping taps. The wastage from a dripping tap alone can reach a couple of litres each hour, resulting in almost 20,000 litres a year. That is often the entire amount many people around the world have access to each year.
Water for Early Years
Take the children on a tour of the centre and count any taps which are left running or are dripping and ask the children to record this. This will not only help to identify where the centre is losing water and therefore money, but will also help to meet the Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS) learning outcomes.
Discuss with the children why it’s important to turn off taps, not only to help our own immediate environment but also those in countries where water is sparse.
If you detect a leak ask the children to ensure all taps are turned off. Check your water meter and note the reading. Then check the reading again after about three hours. If no water has been used, the reading should be the same. If the meter has moved you have a leak that needs to be found and fixed. Changing the washers usually fixes dripping taps.
Outcomes for pupils
Counting reliably up to ten everyday objects
Recognising numerals from one to nine
Showing curiosity and interest by exploring their surroundings
Working as part of a group or class, taking turns and sharing fairly
Early Learning Years Foundation Stage learning outcome – begin to know about their own cultures and beliefs and those of others
Water activities can be used in many different topics. Why not work with the children to paint pictures, view or present performances or sing songs that convey the water conservation message? There is also a downloadable colouring sheet of Rupert turning off a tap which is available in the Resources & Links section.