Every drop counts
This activity will demonstrate the distribution of water on the earth.
Most of us know that water is a renewable resource. But how many of us are at the same time aware that it is also a finite resource. A leaky tap may not be of much concern to most people, as this means that a few drops of water are going waste. But on the contrary, this leaky tap is actually a cause of worry as could be demonstrated to students by the following activity.
- To help students assess the quantity of water lost due to a dripping tap.
- Gather the students around a water tap.
- Place a bucket under the tap and adjust the tap so that the water drips drop by drop.
- Let one student take charge of the stopwatch or the hour glass and be the time keeper.
- Ask another student to hold a measuring cylinder under the dripping tap.
- As soon as the time keeper gives a signal at the end of one minute the cylinder should be removed from under the tap.
- The water collected in the cylinder should be measured.
- Based on the amount of water collected in one minute, ask the students to calculate the amount of water that would be wasted in one hour, in one day, and then in one month from the dripping tap.
- Subsequent to the understanding that a considerable amount of water is lost from a leaky tap, students must be encouraged to undertake a survey in their school to try and understand the reasons behind the wastage of water – is the wastage due to callousness or is it due to faulty taps?
The volume of water collected in 1 min (ml) x 60 min = volume of water wasted in 1 hour (y in ml)
The values (y) could then be extrapolated to calculate the quantity of water lost over 24 hours.
Students could be encouraged to design a campaign to spread the message of water conservation – this they could do by one of the following means:
- Wall paper with a message of water conservation
- A puppet show with a message of water conservation (project ideas for making puppets could be useful)
- They could organise a rally within or around the school to raise awareness about the issue.
Joy of Learning – Handbook of Environmental Education Activities Vol. 2, (1996); Centre for Environment Education, Ahmedabad,
Photograph: Sukhprit Kaur