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UNLESS Contest Water

Focus Challenge: Water


Did you know that only 1% of the earth’s water is drinkable? Some industries, like making clothes, bottling water, and large-scale cattle ranching, can use a huge amount of water every day. In addition, the average American typically uses between 80 and 100 gallons of water per day. We often use water to drink, to clean, and to cook. No all of the water we use is used fully however. In addition, many human activities also result in waste that can then pollute our drinkable water sources.

Climate Change and Water

​Many people do not realize that the water we use every day requires a significant amount of energy to purify, transport, and pump through our homes. The energy used to this contributes to greenhouse gas emissions. Polluted water takes more effort to purify, and thus uses more energy. Wasted water is costly for the environment, whether it’s in our homes or being used by a large company. Reducing leaks at home, cleaning up a freshwater source, and petitioning companies to use less water can seriously help the planet.

Consider This…

  • What are ways that people need to use water?
  • What are some causes of water being wasted?
  • What are some causes of water being polluted?
  • Are there alternative actions that could be used to use less water?
  • Are there alternative actions that could be used to keep water clean?
  • How would these alternatives be helpful to people?
  • Is this a good solution for everyone, or just certain people?
  • How can we learn more from different perspectives?
  • How can we use our understanding to help wildlife?

Explore Further

Interested in growing your understanding of water usage? Check out the activities below! These can be distributed directly to students through your virtual classroom or sent via email, or can be printed and distributed to students in person.

Reporting Your Results

Make sure to keep track of everything you do and share as much of your story as possible, such as:

  • How many events or programs did you host? What were they?
  • What were you hoping to accomplish?
  • How many gallons of water were saved?
  • How much did water quality improve?
  • How many CO2 emissions were conserved? Note: Once you’ve determined the total number of gallons of water per month that you’ve saved, you can convert that into the pounds of CO2 emissions reduced by multiplying the number of gallons by 0.009.
  • What immediate and future implications does your work have on local animals and people?