Blue Roots + Project WET in the Classroom and Beyond

As our future leaders, policymakers and influencers, children and youth are key voices in the global conversation about the value of water. We were thrilled to be able to partner with the Project WET Foundation to offer water- and conservation-related resources for educators, as well as encourage students to share their water stories. Their fresh and unique perspectives remind us that water is the foundation for life and the most basic of human rights.

We acknowledge the difficulty educators have incorporating activities such as sharing a #MyWaterStory into their days. We appreciate any water stories we receive from the classroom and from students and want to highlight their work. Thanks to those who have contributed to the conversation.

Shorecrest Preparatory School

Katy Deegan of Shorecrest Preparatory School helped some students make videos offering conservation tips, talking about water in their daily lives and reflecting on its value to the human race. Watch them all here:

 

Combining youth and creativity

Country Water Partnership-Armenia acknowledged the importance of students in the future of water by incorporating students and educators into their World Water Day activities and changed things up this year to incorporate a creative aspect for the youth.

Country Water Partnership scientific, environmental NGO together with its partner Sustainable Water Environment NGO held its regular conference on World Water Day. The conference was held at Nairi Hall of Ani Plaza Hotel on March 22, 2017. Representatives of governmental organizations (RA MOH, Ministry of Energy, Infrastructure and Natural Resources, Ministry of Environment Protection, State Committee of Water System) private sector and civil society, mass media (Armenian TV and public radio), as well as students and teachers of schools from five different communities (43 in total) took part in the event. This time the event varied in its format: except the official part, the conference had also a creative, cultural and colorful part.

The conference was preceded by WWD “Why Waste Water- wastewater as water resource” trainings held for 6-8 grade students of public schools of five communities (Yerevan School N155, Nor Kharberd School N2, Spitak town school N2, Gegharkuniq and Margahovit schools). The goal of the trainings was to speak about the most important issues on water and wastewater. The trainers interactively covered the issues on water importance, wasting and pollution of water, the hidden potential of wastewater and the ways of wastewater reuse. Thematic cartoons were screened after the trainings and the students were tasked to draw thematic pictures to be presented at the conference scheduled on March 22, 2017.

Student artwork

Thanks to Avery for this great drawing of Niagara Falls.

Students in action

Although our pages are specifically designed for students in kindergarten through high school, college students are also active and contribute to conservation efforts and the water space. Sifa Dogan of Cyprus International University shared this story about the work of her students:

Me and my students in Cyprus International University are testing the removal of persistent organic pollutants from water ! I will be presenting a seminar about our work on 22nd of March 2017 with Earth Science Engineers Association! North Cyprus, Nicosia.

Love Letters to Water and Those Who Fight For It, Part One

Our Blue Roots Project team is still recovering from jetlag after a whirlwind experience at the Vatican for World Water Day 2017. But just as we were hard at work at the Watershed conference, you all were also working hard, submitting stories and raising awareness of the value of water in honor of World Water Day. We received so many wonderful submissions we couldn’t possibly highlight them all in just one blog post. So this Best of blog post will be released in two parts.

The week’s submissions were marked by World Water Day, on Wednesday during the submission period. It was clear the day reignited passion people have for water, drawing out beautiful memories and inspiring art, writings and posts that tell a story about their love and respect for water and those fighting to protect it.

We received so many stories, but we thought the best ones this week communicated that passion, love and respect for water that we hope is contagious, as we draw from those feelings to move toward greater awareness and, eventually, action in addressing the world’s water crises. These feelings echoed our own, as we sat feet from Pope Francis as he urged the world to protect the “treasure” that is water, and witnessed the coming together of many influential voices in the water space during the Watershed conference.

So without further adieu, here are our favorite love letters to water and those fighting for it, from the week of World Water Day.

Desire for a better future for water
Shannon Anderson tells of her beginnings in New York where she could play in her backyard creeks, to the polluted waters in Indiana where she now calls home.

Today is #worldwaterday – I grew up in the creeks near my home in WNY and finger lakes of central NY during summer camp. This is Lake Cayuga. This is me. When I moved away, I was shocked to hear stories about kids who couldn't play in their creeks and lakes and rivers due to pollution. Kids who grew up along the Ohio River here in my state of Indiana knew they couldn't swim in it. This isn't okay. This is not just about childhood play, it's about the harm we do to ecosystems and water that everything living depends on. We can't un-contaminate our waterways and ground water. We must treat it as the precious resource it is. I want my kid and all kids to enjoy a world of safe water and it is heartbreaking that it's too late now for too many. #flintwatercrisis is heartbreaking #dapl is heartbreaking #coalash is heartbreaking. Please join the movement to defend our waterways and accept no excuses from industry and politicians why we can't all have creeks and lakes that any kid can't go in. That's my #MyWaterStory

A post shared by Shannon Anderson (@kitonlove) on

Celebrating the role of water in everyday life
Kelsie Wrae urges her Instagram and Facebook followers to remember the impact of clean water every time they turn on their faucets.

Happy World Water Day! Today, we focus our attention on the importance of freshwater, and thank those who advocate for the sustainable management of freshwater resources. You might ask, “Why is it so important to take a day to recognize water?” To better understand this question, it’s crucial to understand the vital role water plays in our everyday life. Celebrating World Water Day is about taking the time to appreciate the role water plays in our day-to-day life. It is estimated that in the United States, the average person uses between 100 and 250 liters of clean and safe water every day. That’s more than 10 times as much water being used daily in underdeveloped countries. Take a moment today to think about how much water you use every day, and recognize how fortunate we are to have it at our disposal. Next time you turn on your faucet, remember how access to clean and safe water positively affects our lives, our economies, and our societies. #MyWaterStory #WorldWaterDay2017 #worldwaterday

A post shared by K E L S I E | wrae arnold (@kelsiewrae) on

A love poem to my backyard creek

Madison Vorva sent us the love poem she wrote for her backyard creek ten years ago, with a photo.

Passion passed down to younger generations

Lin Rongxiang of Singapore wrote to us about the influence of two Singaporean leaders, Mr. Lee Kuan Yew and his wife Madam Kwa Geok Choo. Lin writes that as lawyers the husband and wife duo “believed in subscribing to the international laws and governing dynamics of our planet, and this includes the United Nations.” She goes on to say that their leadership impacted generations to come:

Ordinary citizens like me were taught since a very tender age that water is an existential issue for Singapore.

You can also read her letter in full here.

Expressing love of water with paint

Oregon artist Abigail Losli marked World Water Day with her own day of painting water and posted a short reflection on Instagram. We also loved this statement about her work on her website:

Our lives are marked by the ebb and flow of choices and consequences, moments and seasons. Examining patterns of movement in water enables me to explore themes of change and rest, while working in series elevates the way parts comprise a whole. I see a parallel in the way small moments compose a meaningful life.

Water is both spiritual and practical, life-giving and necessary, powerful and gentle, unnerving and soothing. It connects us all.

Stay tuned for Part Two, which we’ll publish tomorrow.