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There’s No New Water! is a water conservation and water quality curriculum grounded in a simple yet powerful concept that water is a finite natural resource whose quantity and quality must be responsibly preserved, protected, used, and reused.
Water is unique in that it exists naturally as a solid, liquid, and gas. When we think of places on Earth where we find water, we often think of bodies of water that are familiar to us, such as lakes, oceans, or streams. Water helps sustain human life as a nutritional necessity and it also supports residential, agricultural, recreational, and industrial activities. However, finite amounts of water move through watersheds and it must be used wisely so it can support the natural environment and human activities.
Module 1 Appendix A "Natural Water Cycle" in PDF. This electronic copy is provided to assist facilitators with duplication for the activity. Activity instructions are included in the curriculum, available for purchase.
Humans need water. Water is essential from a nutritional standpoint to help sustain life, it’s required for agriculture to grow crops, and it’s also used for a variety of residential, recreational, and industrial purposes. However, the human population is growing rapidly, and this places ever-increasing pressure on the finite amounts of water that are available. Furthermore, pollutants that affect water quality effectively decrease the supply because there is less available useable water.
The urban/rural interface refers to those geographical regions where densely population urban areas and less populated rural areas come into contact. As urban populations grow, cities expand their boundaries and encroach up rural areas, impacting them in a variety of ways. Even though the livelihoods and life styles of inhabitants of rural and urban areas may be different, both are located in the same watershed, connected by their need for clean and ample supplies of water.
Mapping watersheds is important for a variety of reasons. By mapping watersheds, scientists, city and regional planners, conservationists, farmers, and ranchers, and others can understand the physical characteristics of a region and identify actual or predict potential sources of impacts on water quality and quantity due to human or natural interventions. By identifying where natural (e.g., earthquake) or human (e.g., dam, wastewater treatment plant, landfill, agricultural land) interventions occur or might occur, we can better identify actual or predict potential sources of impacts on water resources and develop solutions to improve water resources.
We as a society, and as small groups and individuals, can have a tremendous impact on enhancing the conservation of water resources. With a grasp of the concepts from Modules 1 through 4, youth can apply their knowledge to create a service learning project that addresses a water-related issue in their community.
After completing Modules 1-5, teens can apply this knowledge through cross-age teaching and to build peer support through planning and implementing hands-on, inquiry-based activities with younger youth.
“Water conservation represents one of the most important pro-ecological activities to be modeled and developed for a sustainable way of life on this planet.” - Corrall-Verdugo, Bechtel, & Fraijo-Sing