On Wednesday, 29th the Water Forum hosted a workshop (hybrid) in Dublin on education for water conservation. Despite Ireland’s predominantly wet climate and abundance of water resources, there have been shortages in supply to homes and businesses in recent years. With population growth, higher standards of living and changes in precipitation patterns owing to climate change water shortages are expected to become a bigger issue.
The Water Forum commissioned research to identify what measures are needed to incentivise water savings and discourage wastage. This research completed by Dr Sarah Cotterill of UCD and Dr Peter Melville-Shreeve from Exeter University, made a number of recommendations. One of these was the need to: Rethink Water Education – to support bottom-up understanding of water (from the processes that underpin treatment and supply, to the energy and resources required to produce drinking water) linked to the national curriculum.
This meeting brought educators in the formal and non-formal sector together to consider how that education might be progressed in general public and within schools.
Presentations were given by:
Sarah Cotterill, Assistant Professor at UCD, presented on: The need for education to encourage water conservation behaviours
Stephanie Hurry, Head of Water Efficiency Engagement with Waterwise UK presented on: Learnings from engaging for water efficiency in the UK
Anne Dolan, Professor of Primary Geography at Mary Immaculate College, presented on: Opportunities to promote water education in the national curriculum
These presentations were followed by round table discussions on how to achieve greater water education in the formal and non-formal sectors. A workshop report will be compiled and published in the coming weeks.