There’s no advocate quite as effective as a kid. How many parents have stopped smoking or started recycling after a bit of constant encouragement from a child? That’s why ICLEI has teamed up with Western Resource Advocates (WRA) to increase water education and conservation actions in k-12 schools across the seven Colorado River Basin states.
Conservation in the Colorado Basin is critical. The Bureau of Reclamation’s 2012 Basin Study shows that Colorado River water users are using more water than the river can provide and estimates that the gap will grow to an average supply-demand imbalance of one trillion gallons per year by 2060. The effects are apparent. This week, California Gov. Jerry Brown and legislators announced more than $1 billion in drought relief measures including projects to make the state’s water infrastructure more resilient to climate change.
A study conducted by WRA, McKinstry, and the Center for the New Energy Economy estimates that 30,000 to 43,000 acre feet of water (a family of five uses about one acre foot per year) could be conserved annually through the inclusion of water saving measures in an energy performance contract (EPC). State and local governments and schools already use EPCs as a procurement and finance mechanism to save energy, operating and maintenance costs, and (to a limited extent) water in public buildings.
The ICLEI, WRA water conservation project will work energy services companies, state energy and water offices, and school districts in the Basin states to increase the number of water conservation measures in EPCs. Our outreach will include enlisting teachers and their students as advocates by providing water education in the classroom.
We encourage you (and your kids) to join ICLEI offices and local governments globally to raise awareness through World Water Day this Sunday, March 22nd.