School competitions launched on World Water Day
Two new competitions for schools and students underline the importance of water for the Kapiti Coast district, Mayor Jenny Rowan said.
The competitions were launched on March 22 - World Water Day 2010 – at schools throughout the district.
The first of the competitions is open to all schools and aims to find the school with the best water conservation programme in the district.
The second is an essay competition open to secondary school students aged 15 and over on “Where does our water come from and how does it get to our tap?”.
Mayor Rowan said World Water Day was a time to reflect on the importance of water for people around the world. “We’re lucky in New Zealand that we have clean water coming out of the tap,” she said. “Some people are not so lucky – more than 1 billion people in the world rely on unsafe drinking-water sources.
“Water is precious and we need to respect this important resource,” Ms Rowan said. The Council is developing a Water Conservation Plan which aims to reduce water use to 400 litres/person/day over the next five years.
Education, financial incentives, technical innovation and a review of water supply management were areas addressed as part of the Water Conservation Plan which will be discussed with the wider community as part of the Annual Plan process. Better monitoring of water flows and data collection on consumption is also vital for long-term water conservation.
In the crucial Waikanae/Paraparaumu/Raumati catchment, for which Council is currently investigating additional water supply, the peak use in 2008/09 summer was around 525 litres per person per day in Paraparaumu/Raumati and around 755 litres per person per day in Waikanae, Ms Rowan said.
“Watering the garden an hour less each week can save up to 1000 litres of water. These are the types of things we want to highlight through these competitions,” Ms Rowan said.
Participating schools are encouraged to put together a short presentation on what they are doing to save water. Environmental awareness (including awareness of the importance of water) integrated in their teaching programme, the promotion of water conservation measures in the school and sustainable use of water in school activities, e.g. the school garden, are areas the competition judges are looking for.
The winning school will receive a Water Conservation Trophy, four rain barrels for their garden, visits from the Council’s water saving experts – the Green Plumber, the Green Gardener and the Eco Design Advisor - as well as three MP3 players.
The essay competition has the topic “Where does our water come from and how does it get to our tap?”
The winning student will receive a digital camera and four weeks’ paid summer holiday employment at Kapiti Coast District Council, working mainly on water-related tasks. The 2nd and 3rd prize winners will receive iTunes vouchers. The essay competition is endorsed by Water Industry Training and the Water Industry Operations Group of New Zealand and all entries will be displayed at the Water Industry Operations Group of New Zealand’s annual conference in Hamilton in May. The winning essay will be published in industry publications.
Water Industry Training Manager Annie Yeates said the competition was a first for New Zealand.
“We hope that other districts will pick up on this excellent initiative,” Ms Yeates said.
Water Industry Operations Group executive Dave Neru said the competition highlighted the excellent career opportunities the water industry presented to school leavers. “The water industry is a vibrant and growing industry which offers careers at all levels,” Mr Neru said.