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Water Conservation Education for Schools

Teacher Resources Library

These items are for educators to borrow free of charge. We have one or two copies of each on hand. To reserve a copy, please email conservation staff, or call the conservation hotline at 650-780-7436.

Water, A Gift of Nature: The Story Behind the Scenery

Water, A Gift of Nature: The Story Behind the Scenery - Click Image to CloseSpectacular, full-color photographs fill every page. Science, education, and art combine to make readers familiar with the many faces of water: clouds, rain, hail, snow, icebergs, geysers, rainbows, and waterfalls. Interpretive text details the animals and plants that depend on water from wetland beavers to the desert chuckwalla, and from a coral reef to a saguaro cactus.

3 in 1 Video
Children's Video Programs

These videos/DVD’s are a fun and easy way to teach children about the water cycle, water use, conservation & safety, as well as, how a fish hatchery operates & the life cycle of the Chinook Salmon. Historical footage of California's earliest water projects demonstrates water's importance in California's economic development Appropriate for Grades K-6.

Programs on DVD & VHS include:

  • "The Water Cycle"
    (Grade K-6; 11:48 minutes)
  • "Albert and Einstein: Aqueduct Safety"
    (Grade K-6; 30 seconds)
  • "Water, Who Needs It?"
    (Grade K-6; 14 minutes)
  • "A Visit to the Feather River Hatchery"
    (Grade 4-8; 9 minutes)
  • "The California Water Story"
    (Grade 4 through adult; 17 minutes)

The Rainstick, A FableThe RainStick, A Fable

The RainStick, A Fable A young boy’s journey from savanna to rain forest begins with the riddle, “A slender staff touches earth and sky at the same time.” Stunning illustrations accompany the boy as he fulfills a quest to bring back the sound of rain to his West African village. 40-page book, published by The Watercourse.

 dThe California Water Story
A multi-disciplinary approach to teaching about water as one of California’s most important resources, California Water Story is designed for use in grades 4-6. The lessons integrate many subject areas (geography, history, science, math and art) and are designed to help students develop specific skills (critical thinking, organizing data, predicting, mapping and graphing). The program set includes a 24-page lesson plan booklet with worksheets and evaluation devices which may be duplicated, teacher instructions and background material, a video Water Map, the Layperson’s Guide to California Water, Water Fact Card, Hydrologic Cycle Poster and water awareness stickers. Materials can be duplicated for years of use.

Conserve Water Educators Guide
307 pages • 8 1⁄2 x 11 • b&w photos •illustrations • charts
The Conserve Water Educators Guide provides teachers of middle school and high school students with the ins and outs of water conservation. Background information offers a hydrologic primer; past, present, and future water conservation issues; and case studies ranging from a rancher in west Texas to an ice cream factory in Massachusetts. These real-life examples encourage students to use critical thinking skills to examine different sides of each situation.

Where Does Your Water Come From?
The Drinking Water Source Book for grades 5-8, this booklet teaches students about the sources of drinking water. Children learn about the water cycle, watersheds, surface water, ground water, aquatic ecosystems, water quality and its effect on living things, sources of water pollution, and how to prevent pollution in their own communities. The information in this 32-page, color book can support many different curriculum programs designed to teach about watersheds and water quality, or stand alone as an insight into the wonder of the life-giving resource we all need: water.

Layperson’s guide to Water Recycling
As the state’s population continues to grow and traditional water supplies grow tighter, there is increased interest in reusing treated wastewater for a variety of activities, including irrigation of parks and golf courses and groundwater recharge. The 24-page Layperson’s Guide to Water Recycling provides an overview of the history, treatment and use, legislation, financing, projects and challenges of water recycling in California. Graphics illustrate the treatment plant process, and sections profile the use of recycled water to benefit the environment; the use of recycled water for indirect potable purposes; and the challenges of gaining public support for the broadened use of recycled water.

California Water Recycling  
dIn the West, it is not a matter of if a drought will occur, but when. In an effort to develop a drought-proof water supply, many communities are turning to water recycling. Water recycling is reusing treated wastewater for irrigating golf courses, other urban landscapes, some crops, wetlands enhancement, industrial processes and even groundwater recharge. But many people do not understand how water is treated, recycled and reused, causing some to oppose new projects. This 25-minute video, simplifies the often-misunderstood concept of water recycling.

Layperson’s guide to Water Conservation
The 24-page Layperson's Guide to Water Conservation discusses how what was once just a response to drought has become part of everyday life for all Westerners in recognition of a key fact: water conservation is important every year, not just in drought years. This guide explains how the West’s natural climate includes extensive drought cycles and how water conservation can help stretch the available supply to meet new demands. The guide includes sections on agricultural water use and conservation practices, urban conservation and Best Management Practices, and what homeowners can do around their homes and yards to save water.

dLayperson’s guide to California Water
The 24-page Layperson’s Guide to California Water provides an excellent overview of the history of water development and use in California. It includes sections on flood management; the state, federal and Colorado River delivery systems; Delta issues; water rights; environmental issues; water quality; and options for stretching the water supply such as water marketing and conjunctive use. The guide also includes a useful chronology of California water history. An excellent basic reference tool to California water, the Layperson's Guide to California Water complements the California Water Map.

dWater on the Edge
Water truly has shaped California into the great state it is today. And if it is water that made California great, it’s the fight over – and with – water that also makes it so critically important. In efforts to remap California’s circulatory system, there have been some critical events that had a profound impact on California’s water history. These turning points not only forced a re-evaluation of water, but continue to impact the lives of every Californian. This 2005 PBS documentary offers a historical and current look at the major water issues that shaped the state we know today. Includes a 12-page viewer’s guide with background information, historic timeline and a teacher’s lesson. Available in VHS & DVD .

Drinking Water Quenching the Publics Thirst   
Many Californians don't realize that when they turn on the faucet, the water that flows out could come from a source close to home or one hundreds of miles away. Most people take their water for granted; not thinking about the elaborate systems and testing that go into delivering clean, plentiful water to households throughout the state. Where drinking water comes from, how it's treated, and what people can do to protect its quality are highlighted in this 2007 PBS documentary. This DVD features closed captioning in Spanish and English. Includes a 12-page viewer's guide (in English) with background information, historic timeline and a teacher's lesson.

"Whadaya Know About H2O" offers 30 educational video shorts about a variety of water topics, such as conservation, our water planet, the forms water takes, and the water cycle. Each one is only about a minute long (grades 3 through 8 ).



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