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Drought education for parents and kids

Dear LA Teacher,

We can't make rain but we sure can save water.

What can I do to teach my children to conserve water during this historic drought?

Parched Mom

Dear Parched Mom,

On Jan 17, California Governor Jerry Brown formally announced California’s drought, the worst dry spell for the Golden State in 100 years. This declaration gives California the right to request the president to expedite water transfers, provide the state with financial assistance, and suspend a few state and federal regulations. For farmers, this means they can apply for low-interest emergency loans from the U.S. Department of Agriculture. But what does this mean for California parents and their children?

For water conservation to trickle down to families, moms and dads need to teach their children about droughts. First, instruct children about the conditions of an area affected by droughts. Use your smart phone and Google drought images. That should get the idea home. Then explain the causes of droughts.

The best way parents can get their children involved in water conservation is by practicing it in the home and around the yard. Sit down with the kids and explain that every drop of water counts. Here’s a list of suggestions parents and children can follow to conserve precious water:

1. Turn off water while brushing teeth (You can save more than 100 gallons of water per month.)
2. Take shorter showers. The typical person uses 7 gallons of water per minute.
3. Fix leaky faucets.
4. Install low-flow toilets and showerheads. (Saving water also means saving money.)
5. Xeriscape your home. About 70% of water consumed by an average family is used outdoors. So get rid of thirsty grass lawns and plants and replace them with native flora, rocks, and other ground cover for front and backyards. Install plant foliage and shrubs that make use of available rainfall.

It will rain again and the drought will pass. However, when reservoirs are half full, it’s a wise move to practice water conservation for the benefit of family and state.

Best wishes,
LA Teacher

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