Teach Your Children about Water Sustainability for Earth Month

Use the Sun to Make Salt Water Drinkable instructographic teaser

In honor of Earth Month in April, teach your child the importance of water conservation. One way to start this discussion is to learn more about freshwater scarcity. With 97 percent of the world’s water supply being salt water, and with many people without access to fresh water, water conservation is a great way to make an impact globally.

One route to freshwater sustainability is water desalination, or removing the salt from salt water. There are more than 16,000 desalination plants1 across the globe currently, and that number is still growing. To begin learning how desalination occurs, click the image below for instructions on how to create freshwater from salt water using a few household items.

What Is Water Scarcity?

Water scarcity occurs when there is not enough drinking water to meet the needs of the population in a given area. Since most of the planet’s water is salt water, is frozen freshwater, or is not accessible, this leaves some areas high and dry.

What Are Some of the Benefits of Fresh Water?

Freshwater is an essential part of life. Water helps nutrients and oxygen in the bloodstream move around the body. Humans are generally made up of about 45 to 65 percent water.

Freshwater is a key to good health. When your body doesn’t have enough water, it is dehydrated. Dehydration can keep you from doing your best at sports, school, and whatever else the day may throw your way.

Freshwater keeps crops growing. About 70 percent of the available freshwater on earth is used to feed crops, which, in turn, feed us.

Freshwater is the life force of wetlands. Wetlands can provide flood protection, have natural water-filtering properties for cleaner water, and much more.

How to Participate in Water Conservation

Have your child help you check for leaks around the house. He or she should look for dripping faucets and pipes.

Let your child help you do the dishes. Teach him or her to turn off the tap when not using it and to wait until the dishwasher is fully loaded before running it.

Let the lawn grow a little longer than you normally would. This will promote water retention in the soil.

Help your child plant native plants around the house. By planting species that are natural to your area, these plants are more suited to handling the amount of rainfall your garden will receive.

Encourage your child to cut his or her shower time by two minutes each day. Two minutes every day is 730 minutes per year. That’s a lot of water.

What do you and your family do to conserve water? Are you planning to start any conservation practices this spring? Let us know in the comments below. Happy Earth Month!

1 David Talbot, “Desalination out of Desperation,” MIT Technology Review (December 2014), accessed March 25, 2015, http://www.technologyreview.com/featuredstory/533446/desalination-out-of-desperation/.

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