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Back to School Water Education Resources for Students, Teachers, Caregivers

cientists and staff from California Department of Water Resources and USFWS step away from their daily activities and into the heart of the Delta. As part of a multi-agency collaboration for the Interagency Ecological Program (IEP), DWR and USFWS partner with Riverview Middle School in Rio Vista for a morning of learning the importance of Delta research and monitoring.

Published: 17 August 2022

Making water saving a way of life begins with our youngest Californians. Save Our Water wants to help Californians of all ages save water for our state.

As kids in California head back to school this fall, we are sharing resources and tips to help parents, teachers, and caregivers educate students about the importance of making water conservation a way of life.

Teaching Water Conservation in the Classroom and Beyond

Saving water is something we all can and should do. For K-12 educators, teaching about California water and water conservation is one way to make lessons engaging, exciting, and relevant. Save Our Water, the Department of Water Resources, local water agencies, and many others provide resources that teachers can use to develop lessons and teach about water.

Why water education matters

Understanding the importance of water is an essential part of being a Californian.  One of the first things we learn is that every living thing needs water to survive. But water is also central to California’s history, present, and future. In the earliest days of the state, water powered the Gold Rush. Today, it fuels one of the largest economies in the world. And in the decades to come, water will continue to provide tens of thousands of jobs.

Water is also the perfect cross-curricular subject. Whether you teach math, science, social studies, health, or language arts, teaching about water will make a splash.

Free Water Education Resources for Teachers

For more than four decades, DWR’s water education program has supported California educators. The program provides free classroom materials, funds professional development, and more. Order hardcopies or download resources through DWR’s online storefront. Workbooks, maps, posters, videos, and more are available to caregivers and educators to order.

DWR’s water education site includes vetted links to additional websites. You can find data sets, online games, and other trusted water education resources. And includes conservation tips for teachers, students, and their caregivers.

Additional Water Education Resources

Many local water agencies and community organizations also offer water education. Perhaps your class can visit a drought-tolerant demonstration garden? Or, take a tour of a water recycling facility?. How about a virtual tour of a water treatment plant? For teachers interested in hands-on activities, the Water Education Foundation holds Project WET workshops throughout the year.

Droughts and dry years are part of our new climate reality in California. Conserving water needs to be a way of life for all of us.

Knowing where water comes from, understanding the challenges in bringing clean and reliable water to homes and schools, and knowing what can be done to conserve water is essential knowledge for California’s youth. and the Department of Water Resources are proud to help make that happen by providing these resources and education.