This is the tenth year of the Green-Schools partnership with Uisce Éireann, and in that time over 630,000 students have taken part in the water theme programme by attending interactive water workshops, Walk for Water events, talks hosted by Uisce Éireann staff or visited their local water and wastewater treatment plants.
The Water Theme
Now in its tenth year the sponsorship has seen over 2.6 billion litres of water saved, which is equivalent to filling 1,040 Olympic size swimming pools. Over 370,000 students across Ireland have completed the programme, achieving 1,310 Green Flags, as well as participating in a range of additional initiatives, including poster and video competitions. The objective of the Green-Schools Water theme is to develop awareness around water conservation and how to manage our important water resources in our schools and at home. The programme incorporates elements designed to foster increased understanding of the value of, and pressures on, Ireland’s water sources. Central to this is a focus on water conservation: encouraging participating students and schools to take action to reduce their water use.
The programme is tailored to students at all stage of their development, from junior primary to secondary level with a range of activities to suit all ages. In addition to developing awareness around water conservation the sponsorship incorporates wider engagement around stewardship of our water resources, including raising awareness of the impacts of wastewater on inland and coastal waterways.
Activities for the students
Students taking part in the Green Schools Water Theme participate in a range of activities, including: workshops with experts from Uisce Éireann and others in the water sector, participation in water-related experiments and studies, beach and river clean-ups in their localities, kick testing and sampling in local water courses to better understand the health of these ecosystems, engagement with their wider communities via newsletters, social media, print/broadcast media and other public-facing communications.
Activities also include: participation in photography, poster and video competitions, carrying out water surveys in their schools to identify ways to reduce water use, installation of water saving devices such as water butts and low flush toilets in their schools, engagement with the Water Ambassador programme for secondary students and participation in the Water Schools of Year Awards for shortlisted schools.