Spring into new water habits with kids

With spring now in full bloom, it’s the perfect time to include kids in the quest to be water-wise as we water our gardens, wash our pets and play in the sprinklers.

Changing a few simple habits can have a significant impact on water consumption. Teaching children to embrace water-wise behavior at a young age can help nourish our communities for generations to come.

Eastern Municipal Water District recently announced the winners of their 2022 poster contest called ‘Water is Life.’ It’s a great representation of how teaching young ones to appreciate the water that flows straight from our taps helps lay the foundation for water-saving tips that can be applied throughout their lives.

View EMWD’s ‘Water is Life’ video here for a snapshot of the winning entries!

Western Municipal Water District is also hosting a ‘Water is Life’ poster contest, and there’s still time to enter through April 15. Children who attend school districts served by WMWD can learn about the contest specifics here.

Get thirsty for H2O knowledge

Hey kids, guess how many gallons the average family of four uses every day in the United States according to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency? It’s not 50 gallons, not even 100 gallons, but 400 gallons of water. That’s the equivalent of taking 10 baths a day!

According to the ‘Water: Use it Wisely’ conservation campaign, the most important water saving device is YOU. All it takes is getting familiar with tips and tricks that make being good stewards of our precious tap water a cinch.

Modifying water-wasting behaviors and teaching kids how to have a water-wise mindset can make a significant impact according to the EPA, the ‘Water: Use it Wisely’ campaign and California’s ‘Save our Water’ program.

Follow these 10 water-wise tips to set kids up for success:

  1. Be a leak detective: Hunting for water leaks with kids can be fun! An unexpected high water bill is often the first clue that there’s a leak somewhere in your home. Take the kids on a hunt to inspect outdoor sprinklers, fountains, spigots or pools and indoor faucets, toilets, piping and showerheads.
  • Shower power! A typical shower uses just 10-25 gallons of water, while a bath can use up to 70 gallons. Encourage kids to hop in the shower vs. taking a bath.
  • Shorten your shower: And while you’re in the shower, why not shorten it by a minute or two? Make it a game to see how much time – and gallons of water – you can save! Keep showers under five minutes, and you’ll save up to 1,000 gallons a month.
  • Water breaks: Whether kids are washing their hands or brushing their teeth, there’s no reason to leave the water running until they’re ready to turn it back on for a rinse.
  • Hose off your pooch outside: Instead of filling up the bathtub, let the kids wash your pet outdoors in an area of your lawn that needs water.
  • Smart sweepers: Ask your kids to reach for the brooms instead of the hose to help you clean up your driveway and patio while saving water every time.
  • Beat the heat: Get the kids involved in watering the garden first thing in the morning – it’s a great first step to water-efficient landscaping. Avoid watering yards during the middle of the day because most of the water will evaporate before the plants have time to drink it.
  • So mulch better: Work together to pour a layer of organic mulch around plants to reduce evaporation and save hundreds of gallons of water each year.
  • Sprinkler time: When the kids want to cool off, use the sprinkler in an area where your yard needs it most.
  1. Who needs a hose? Washing your car or kids’ bikes with a bucket and sponge instead of a running hose saves a whole lot of water. A hose can waste six gallons per minute if left running. Or better yet, take the kids for a ride through a car wash that uses recycled water.

Water you waiting for?

It’s never too early to get kids involved in learning water-wise tips and tricks that will teach them to become good stewards of our planet’s most precious resource – water!

For more tips on ways to save H2O, visit the EPA’s WaterSense for Kids website. There, you’ll find activity sheets, water-saving tips and this fun WaterSense video game where kids can move the water-efficiency hero ‘Flo’ through water pipes, and answer water-wise questions while avoiding water-wasting monsters.

The Inland Empire Utilities Agency also features fun activities to explore with kids online. Dive into their Water Discovery Activities page for hands-on education opportunities.

Let us know what water-saving strategies work best with your little ones by following us on social media and sharing your stories!

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Twitter: @SoCalTapWater

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