Learning about water can enrich and enhance school curriculums, educating communities and customers. It is a topic that can be integrated across all learning areas, from primary school to VCE.
There are many ways to incorporate water and water efficiency into education programs, and many existing programs that you can tap into for water education. Find out about some of them by following the links below.
Water bills have no surprises for schools using data loggers supplied under the Schools Water Efficiency Program (SWEP).
SWEP assists Victorian schools to monitor water usage to help identify leaks and educates students on water consumption. SWEP provides schools with data loggers to continuously record water use, and provides access to an interactive web portal so this information can be used as part of the school curriculum. The program also aims to help manage water use.
The data loggers are helping to improve water efficiency by identifying high water usage and leaks, saving water and money.
The wide-ranging benefits of this innovative program have been recognised by a number of different organisations. SWEP was judged the winner of the Victorian Branch of the AWA in the 2012 Program Innovation Award category. Additionally, SWEP has also been a finalist in the 2013 Banksia Awards, the 2013 Premiers Sustainability Awards and won the 2014 United Nations Association of Australia, Excellence in Sustainable Water Management award.
The data loggers and the first year's web services are provided free to schools. A fee of $150 applies for each of years two and three of the program.
In the classroom
The loggers 'work' in the classroom, too. A specially-designed web platform supported by a classroom curriculum resource program assists teachers to use the valuable information from the data loggers in classes.
- Supplies and installs data loggers (maximum of two free) to every school joining the program (additional loggers can be purchased by the school);
- Assists schools with existing SWEP data loggers;
- Provides a web-based platform for delivering school-specific water consumption data in collaboration with education materials and the ability to report on school water consumption; and
- Identifies leaky pipes and high water use and identifies faulty appliances on school premises, then providing feedback to schools where leaks or unusual usage is detected.
Drawing from the success and savings achieved by water monitoring, the SWEP team now offers an electricity monitoring service (further eligibility criteria apply).
To register for the program and for more information, please visit the SWEP website
SWEP is funded by the Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning and the Department of Education and Training.
The Waterwatch Victoria program connects local communities with river health and sustainable water management issues.
Waterwatch supports the thousands of Victorians who volunteer countless hours monitoring, planting, communicating and caring for their local creeks, wetlands, groundwater, rivers and estuaries.
Through Waterwatch, groups are encouraged to become actively involved in local waterway monitoring and on-ground action. A network of Waterwatch co-ordinators support local communities across Victoria. These skilled co-ordinators:
- Provide water quality and biological monitoring training and support to Waterwatch volunteers, schools and a range of community groups;
- Support school and community education and provide awareness-raising activities; and
- Facilitate partnership opportunities around the health of our waterways between all levels of government, private business and the community.
Visit Waterwatch Victoria
The ResourceSmart Schools is a Victorian Government initiative that helps schools benefit from embedding sustainability in everything they do. It helps schools reduce costs while giving students the opportunity to learn about sustainability in a tangible and realistic environment.
Visit ResourceSmart Schools
A range of water education resources are available from your local water corporation.
Melbourne Water Corporation education sites
Victorian regional water corporation education sites
National Water Week
National Water Week is a chance to celebrate and learn about water.
Visit the Australian Water Association website.
The Smart Water Advice website provides water utilities, customers and councils with a range of educational, interactive water saving resources. It was created after a successful industry collaboration and negotiation between Victorian water corporations, DELWP and Smart Approved WaterMark.