Water wisdom for kids
The water on the planet is as old as the dinosaurs! The water on Earth continually gets recycled through the water cycle. It goes from a solid (ice), liquid (water) and a gas (vapour), and covers about 70% of the Earth’s surface.
Out of all the water on Earth only 1% of it is available for us to use and drink – the rest is locked up in oceans and ice caps.
- The average person in the UK uses 150 litres of water a day. This takes into account cooking, cleaning, washing and flushing. Using this much water every day is not sustainable and we are not the only ones with a water scarcity problem. According to the BBC 2/5 of world population already faces water shortages, and 1.1 billion people in the developing world do not have access to a minimal amount of clean water.
People in rich countries use ten times more water than people in poor countries. Even in poor countries the rich can use as much as several hundreds of litres of water a day, and the poor have access to as little as 20 litres per person per day.
We have some fun ways for you to learn more about water efficiency.
Hi, I’m Waterwise the Fish and I am here to help you become Waterwise. My friend Guppy is around here somewhere – he taught me how to be Waterwise and now I want to help you!
Watch how my friend Guppy taught me to be Waterwise.
Water is really important to life on earth – it runs in our rivers, it flows into the sea, it rains on the garden and it keeps you fit and healthy.
Why not try our fun games to learn a bit more about water? We have some dot-to-dots, some pictures for you to colour, and a fun game to see if you can spot how to be water efficient!
Colour me in!
Can you help Waterwise the Fish pick the water efficient activities?
Have a go at our Crossword, Wordsearch and maze and see if you can learn some things about saving water.
Water isn’t running out – the water cycle is continuous, but with the increasing population there are more of us to share the water supply. The graphs below show population and rainfall for the world, divided into continents. You can see how the areas of large population, don't always get the largest amount of rainfall.
Climate Change will mean that some areas will become drier, whilst others are wetter. Deserts can grow and lakes can shrink, floods and droughts will become more common. Combining this unpredictable change in climate with the increasing population, means we have to look after our water sources more carefully.
Desalination turns salt water from oceans into clean drinking water – but this process uses lots of energy, so can worsen the effects of climate change.
The amount of water we use in the UK is not sustainable, we have to use less on a daily basis to ensure our supply doesn’t run out. Water consumption is also linked to climate change - because treating, pumping and heating water produces carbon dioxide – which is a greenhouse gas.
As well as learning about water efficiency you can also become a water saver yourself. Have a look at the water saving tips below and see if you can do any of them:
When you brush your teeth, turn the tap off in between rinses. This can save as much as six litres of water a minute – which is about 24 litres of water a day – that’s 168 litres of water a week!
• Encourage your family to fill a plastic bottle with water and put it in the fridge. This way when you want a cold glass of water you can simply open the fridge rather than running the tap until the water runs cold.
If you have plants in your house, why not use the water left over from your night time drink to feed them, rather than pouring your drink down the sink and then using more water to feed the plant.
• Encourage your family to put a water butt in the garden. This is a big barrel which catches the rainfall from the roof of your house when it rains. You can then help to water the garden using this water rather than a hosepipe. You can also clean cars and windows with this water.
Keep an eye out for dripping taps and tell a grown up if you see any. A dripping tap can waste as much as 15 litres per day.
• Ask your family if you have a dual flush toilet or not. If you don’t have a dual flush encourage them to fill a one litre plastic bottle with water or rice, and then get an adult to pop it in the back of the toilet. This means that every time you flush the toilet you will be wasting that much less water! If you do already have one in the toilet ‘well done’! If you have a dual flush toilet – even better!