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  Seaweek 2006: Footprints for our Future    
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Water is essential for all living things.

Sewage treatment and stormwater pollution are long-term problems.


By managing our water better we can:

Water is a limited resource. On average a person uses ABOUT 739 LITRES OF WATER EVERY DAY just for domestic purposes. A lot of this is wasted.

Water is a key element when examining the environmental impact of a school. Best Practice Environmental Management relates to water as it does to energy and waste issues. The way we use water is increasingly coming under debate.

There are two main sections to examine: the use of drinking-quality water and the impact our actions have on the quality of water in our catchments.

Could you reduce the school’s water use by half? Set such a target.

Humans really only need about 10 litres of water per day to survive.



Take daily water meter readings for total school water usage ensuring that either:

they are taken at approximately the same time each day, or
the time is noted for each reading

Further activities may include:

  • graphing daily water usage against the date for one month (is that month representitive?)
  • graphing average daily rate water usage (in litres per person per day) against time (days)
  • talking to the grounds-person and the secretary or bursar about automatic watering systems, the timing of oval watering and so on.



Identify all points of actual and potential areas of the school where water can be wasted. These may include:

  • leaking taps, drinking water fountains
  • toilet cisterns that don’t shut off properly or only have a large single flush
  • sprinklers that water asphalt, and plants that don’t require extra water etc.
  • high flow shower heads
  • ovals

Arrange for faulty taps etc. to be repaired. In cases where this means minor repairs (eg. replacement of a washer), the repair could be attempted under appropriate supervision. A plan could be devised to allow for the immobilising of taps that may be in use out of school hours.

Do a cost benefit analysis of the improvements that could be made to facilities and behaviours to save water. Present your ideas to the school Council and Environment Committee.



Determine the extent of overnight leakage from pipes on the school grounds by:

  • Ensuring all taps and other water outlets in the school are closed at the end of the school day.
  • Taking a water meter reading for total school water usage, note the time and date of the reading.
  • Taking another meter reading the next morning before water outlets are opened and note the time again.

It will be necessary to consult with the person responsible for grounds and maintenance before opening or closing any major taps.

Further activities may include calculating the average rate of overnight leakage taken over a number of nights and checking if the daytime leakage rate over weekends is similar and then calculating the leakage as a percentage of total school water usage.

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