Student water conservation project scoops top prize in Water Explorer competition

Published by Kate O'Brien on

A Kerry-based school scooped top prize at the national Water Explorer competition last week with a project looking into the issue of water conservation.

Castleisland Community College will now represent Ireland and compete in the global Water Explorer finals later this year.

The award ceremony took place in Axis, Ballymun and was hosted by Global Action Plan, who along with school partners and HSBC delivers the Water Explorer programme in Ireland.

The event promoted water conservation as an integral part of education for sustainable development.

Castleisland proved themselves nothing less than water conservation experts in a Dragon’s Den style presentation with a pitch that included a water rap as Gaeilge.

Judges included Duncan Stewart, Ireland’s Water Explorer Ambassador, played tough, asking a number of hard hitting questions that challenged the student’s knowledge on water saving schemes and global water saving issues.

“The truth is that, without water, there is no life,” said Mr Stewart, also the presenter of RTE’s environmental show, EcoEye. “We know that there are a number of threats to global water supply and that the impact of climate change means greater water scarcity and pollution.”

“We also know that clean drinking water costs money and uses vast amounts of energy and carbon emissions to collect, treat and distribute, at which point we come full circle and have to start all over again with water all too often needlessly wasted down a drain,” he added.

The students touched the lives of 4,938 people, convinced 376 people to change their water usage habits and saved 1.5 million litres of water.  In total, Water Explorer schools in Ireland have saved an incredible 367,544m3 of water and 1,135 tonnes of C02.

“Programmes like Water Explorer enable teachers, youth workers and community leaders to engage and motivate young people today to act for their world tomorrow,” added Global Action Plan’s Environmental Programme Officer Gráinne Ryan, who leads the Water Explorer team.

“Creating active and aware global citizens is the most important job and one that we need more emphasis on. Young people have the interest and ability to look after our planet, we just give them the tools, knowledge and encouragement to do so.”

From cutting down on junk food – it takes 2,400 litres of water to make a burger – or limiting your daily coffee intake – it takes 130 litres to make a single cup of coffee – simple changes in everyday activities can help save more water than you might think.

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Kate O'Brien

Kate is a freelance writer with work published in The Guardian, the Financial Times and the New York Times blog. She is a former Editor of The Plant, a UK magazine on plants and other greenery