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May 11, 2009
Have kids play 'water detectives,' save you money

water logo.jpgWhere does water come from?

If you ask a child, chances are the answer would be "From the tap."

Local water officials are trying to change that by helping parents teach their children where water originates and how to conserve the precious resource this month, which is Water Awareness Month.

"It's important to realize that it's easy for us to take water for granted," said Christine Kohn, a public outreach consultant for the Regional Water Authority.

Here are some tips from the water authority:

  • Help children understand that in the Sacramento region, water comes from two sources: surface water resources like rivers and underground water basins called aquifers. Show children pictures or take them to see the American and Sacramento rivers or Folsom Lake - these are good ways to help them make the connection between water as a source and water that comes out of the tap.
  • Explain what drought and water conservation mean. Because Californians live in a dry climate, there can be a period of time when there is little water or rainfall. Six of the last 8 years in California have been dry, which means water conservation is needed. A good definition of water conservation for kids is "the act of saving water and using it wisely," Kohn said.
  • Talk about how conserving water benefits things the family enjoys. For older children, put it in terms of water sports like wakeboarding or waterskiing. For younger children, explain that the health of more than 70 species of fish are in danger.
  • Make children "water detectives." Have kids scout around the house for instances where water can be conserved, such as turning off the tap while brushing their teeth. Your little detective may just save you some green. "For parents, one of the good things is saving water saves energy and can save you money on your utility bill," Kohn said.>

Once parents explain to their children where water comes from, it's easier to get them to conserve water.

"It's a learning process and it helps to have daily reminders as much as possible," Kohn said.

There also are several upcoming family events to help promote water conservation.

The U.S. Bureau of Reclamation is hosting its annual Get W.E.T. (Water Education Today) Event on May 16 at the American River Water Education Center at Folsom Dam, 7785 Folsom Auburn Road, Folsom.

The Regional Water Authority also is offering two free tickets to a River Cats game for anyone who completes a free "Water Wise House Call" with their water provider.

During the visit, a water efficiency professional helps identify potential water savings by checking things such as appliances, plumbing fixtures, irrigation systems and landscaping.

The water authority and Sacramento Stormwater Quality Partnership also have teamed with the Rivercats to sponsor Green Awareness Weekend June 12, 13 and 14.

Tips on water conservation and other giveaways, including free River Cats tickets, will be distributed during the games.

For more information, call the Regional Water Authority's tip line at (888)987-8477.

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