Teaching About Water Conservation in Schools
The importance of good quality teaching in schools across the UAE is a priority for many teachers and, indeed, it is home to The Global Teacher Prize, which provides an award of $1 million to a teacher from anywhere across the world who has made an outstanding contribution to the world of teaching.
With the current environmentally damaging threats the world is facing, it’s vitally important, now more than ever, that our future generations are learning about these issues and understanding what steps they can take in playing their part to protect this volatile planet. This is why it is essential to teach water conservation in schools.
In the UAE, and particularly Dubai, one of the key environmental factors that has to be constantly monitored is the access to and conservation of water supplies. Dubai is one of the driest countries in the world, with little in rainfall, yet it is one of the top three countries in the world who has the highest usage of water. Due to there being large areas of desert, water resources are greatly used in agriculture where vast irrigation systems are required in order to grow food supplies for the country. Another factor relating to the scorching heat experienced in Dubai is the use of water for air conditioning units, swimming pools and the great water features situated in the large hotels and malls.
So, how are teachers incorporating the importance of water conservation into the education of the younger generation? One programme that has evolved over the years, and in which many Dubai schools have taken part, is The Global Eco-School Programme. It engages students, teachers and parents in projects aimed at learning to conserve water and energy, particularly within their schools and communities, so that they can learn to identify and understand the effects of the actions they take when it comes to using water and electricity. In particular, one school decided to remove their existing sports field of grass and replace it with synthetic grass. This resulted in the removal of a large irrigation system, thereby saving water, and the lifespan of the grass was far longer.
Last year, the Water Alliance Association in Dubai created an in-depth two-hour workshop for primary schools to offer to their students. The children were provided with a type of passport and invited to travel ‘in theory’ around the globe in order to see and understand the different issues surrounding water, and its supplies and resources, in different countries and, at the same time, learn how to reduce their ‘water footprint’ both at school and at home.
Middle School or secondary school students were invited to take part in a H2O Games workshop, undertaking activities to understand about water consumption and the issues surrounding water access and contamination, as well as again learning about their own ‘footprint’ in their use of water.
Other initiatives that have been used to encourage teaching across the educational sector of Dubai about conserving precious resources such as electricity and water includes the Conservation Award, created by the Dubai Electricity and Water Authority (DEWA) and the Knowledge and Human Development Authority (KHDA). This was first awarded in 2005 and its aim was to increase the awareness amongst students and their families about the rational and proportionate use of vital resources that are in short supply in Dubai and the challenges the planet faces generally. The award honours institutions that, in association with students, can come up with new and innovative ideas on how to tackle these issues to try and create a better future, believing ‘that [these educational environments] are the perfect ground to cultivate the seeds of conservation until they grow and thrive in the community’.
Ida Tillisch, the Director-General of the Emirates Wildlife Society – World Wide Fund for Nature (EWS-WWF), stated that ‘environmental education is an important pillar for securing a sustainable future’ and that ‘today’s children will be tomorrow’s decision-makers. What eco-schools show us is that they can also be today’s leaders’.
In order to support all these locally driven initiatives, LeakDTech have participated with KHDA and other environmentally focused groups to further assist everyone to save water and welcomes any proposed partnerships so please get in touch with them on [email protected] or call our office on +971 506404510 where our dedicated team will be waiting to assist you.