Lesson 13

How Much Water Do We Use?



Students will record the amount of water they use in a day and explore ways to conserve a large part of what they use. 


Content Standards Addressed:

Common Core State Standards



Reproducible: How Much Water Do We Use?

Begin by asking students to estimate how much water they use each day. Have gallon containers on hand to help the students visualize amounts of water.

Make copies of the reproducible and distribute to students. Explain that they'll ​be recording all of the water they use during a day at school. They should time their drinks of water from the fountain, how long they take to wash their hands, and the number of times they use the restroom.

Next, students should measure the amount of water it takes to complete each of the tasks on their record sheets. Do this by running the water fountain for the amount of time it took them to take a drink while collecting the water in a container; do the same for the faucets on the sink.
Each student should estimate the amount of gallons used in the restroom by multiplying the number of flushes by the standard of three gallons per flush.
Next, have the students compare the actual amount of water they used with the estimated amount.
You can also add the individual amounts of each student and divide by the total number of students in the class to find the average usage. Students can then see if they are above or below this average.
Encourage the students to discuss their findings. Are they surprised by the results? Did they use more or less water than they estimated?
Now, encourage the class to come up with ideas on how to reduce the amount of water they have used. Put these suggestions into action, repeating the timing and measuring steps. How much, if at all, did they reduce the amount of water they used? How practical were these ideas? Which would they keep as part of their daily habits?​