Water-Earth Dynamics, Challenge 3: Put Some Blue In Your Green School

Research and Revise

Please complete the vocabulary exercise and then visit the websites listed to advance your knowledge about water audits and carry out activities designed to help you focus on the important dimensions of the challenge.

Vocabulary List

Water audit Reclaimed water Water conservation Xeriscape
Potable water Rate of flow Microclimate Water reuse
Non-potable water Condensation Acre-foot Rainwater harvesting
Infrastructure Evapotranspiration Distribution Uniformity Drought
Irrigation Water efficiency Hardscape Water meter

Laboratory/Field Data Collection

Cover of the TWDB School Water Audit workbook

This challenge, Put Some Blue In Your Green School, requires that you download the 7-Step School Water Audit to perform the activity.

You will need to request and review past water bills from your independent school district (ISD) or water provider.  You will also read the school's water meter(s) and conduct an audit of the water use at your school.  Once you have gathered your data, you will interpret the results and develop a set of recommendations on how to implement water conservation practices at your school.  You should present your findings and recommendations to school officials and/or the local school board.

The school water audit is composed of separate measurement and data collection labs.  The following is a brief summary of each lab:

  1. Map facility and categorize water use.
  2. Analyze school water bills.
  3. Read water meters.
  4. Measure water flow and leaks.
  5. Measure water use indoors.
  6. Measure water use outdoors.
  7. Summarize and report findings.

Lectures and Reading

To expand your knowledge about water audits and rainwater harvesting, read the following:

  1. Texas Water Development Board Rainwater Harvesting Web Quest.
  2. Brown, C. and others, 2008, Watersmart guidebook - A water-use efficiency plan review guide for new businesses: Oakland, California, East Bay Municipal Utility District, this book suggests ways to reduce water consumption.
  3. Be Water Wise, School Water Audit.
  4. Cottonwood Middle School Water Audit Project, Arizona.

Web-Based Visualizations/Animations

  1. The shower-leak video explains how to measure the flow rate of a leak that can be caught in a measuring cup. Transcript for the shower-leak video.
  2. The faucet-flow-rate video explains how to measure the flow rate of a sink faucet. No transcript: no voices.