Blog Post: Wednesday March 21, 2018

Generational Differences in the Value of Water

On Wednesday of Water Saving Week, it is all about Saving Water at School. In this blog, Dorothy, a pre-school educator, talks about changing attitudes to water, and the need for children to grow up valuing water. For resources for children, go to the Water Saving Week Website.


“Turn that tap off!”

A frequent phrase used by my Mother, often when I was cleaning my teeth with the tap gushing with water. Or even when I was washing my hands for too long watching water flow through my fingers.  This was all a long time ago, in the sixties when I was a child. I now work in a pre-school and despair when I see children washing their hands at length and then leaving the tap flowing full pelt, with no notion of turning it off after use. I have on occasion walked  into the bathroom to find no children and three taps running, who knows for how long.


Of course they are children and as adults we are the educators. I feel sad to think lots of children have not been taught the value of our natural resources, especially water – which is vital for life. I think then of the parents and adults who look after these children at home and realise that the value of water for many of them is not sufficiently important to them to consider being efficient with this resource or passing this concept on to their children, so that it becomes a normal practise in their lives.


That I think is the key for children: to live in an environment where water is valued and not being wasteful with water is normal practice. In this way it does not become an onerous task but the way things are and the way things work. Perhaps a responsibility also rests with the managers of community and public buildings. There are lots of ways to be efficient with water, such automatic timers on taps and various other devices.


I wonder why today some of our society is still so wasteful with water. Sprinklers spraying water over domestic gardens every day for lengthy periods, the trend for washing patios, garden furniture and everything else outdoors with gallons of water. Perhaps my childhood was closer to post war saving and making do (certainly the case for my Mother’s generation).


I always felt I had plenty as a child, I didn’t feel we were always scrimping and saving and it is important that society does feel comfortable and satisfied with being able to have and use enough water for its needs. It is I think about good education and a proper understanding  of water and other natural resources. The snow I see now outside the window as I write this will melt and possibly cause flooding. People need to realise this does not mean that we can afford to be wasteful with water or that we will have clean fresh water supply for ever more.


A clean, safe water supply from a tap in our house – what could be more valuable or vital to our lives than that?