1,400 Offaly students help save millions of litres of water
Following the drought of summer 2018 Irish Water will once again sponsor the An Taisce Green-Schools water theme for the sixth year running.
School children across Ireland saved over 389 million litres of water last year, the equivalent of over 450 million cups of coffee, due to their participation in the Green-Schools programme.
In the 2017/2018 academic year, seven Offaly schools were awarded the water flag which involved almost 1,400 students and over 150 teachers.
The water theme encourages primary and secondary school children to develop their awareness of water conservation and how to effectively manage this important resource in our schools and homes.
To date over 2,300 schools have been awarded the water flag since the beginning of the Green-Schools programme and there are currently 575 schools, with every county represented, working on this important theme.
Speaking about the launch of this year’s campaign, Annabel Fitzgerald, Irish Water said: “We are delighted to continue our sponsorship of the Green-Schools water award. This year’s ‘conserve water’ theme is an extremely important message following our own national campaign this summer urging people to conserve water in every way possible as the drought had a severe impact on our raw water reserves."
“We are also looking forward to being co-sponsors of the 25th Anniversary International Eco-Schools Conference in November in Cork, which is being hosted by An Taisce Green-Schools, where over 100 delegates from 70 countries will attend.”
Green-Schools Manager Cathy Baxter added: “This partnership with Irish Water has seen the level of support for schools working on the water theme increase dramatically over the years, with a particular highlight being the student Ambassador programme. We are so inspired by the work done each year on the water theme by teachers, caretakers and students all over the country and I’m looking forward to another fantastic year ahead.”
"The Green-Schools water programme has an exciting academic year lined up with a series of Water Forums, Walk for Water events, Water Ambassador Support Sessions, a poster competition and a prestigious awards ceremony which will announce the Water Schools of the Year."
An Taisce Green Schools and Irish Water visited St Nathy’s College, Ballaghaderreen in Co Roscommon to launch the 2018/2019 sponsorship of the water theme. St Nathy’s were the Western Regional Winners of the ‘Water School of the Year’ in 2018 and to celebrate their continuation of the Green-Schools water theme, they were presented with a 210L water butt.
The water butt, which will harvest rainwater during times of reduced precipitation, will enable the school to water the crops in their polytunnel grower.
Irish Water this year revealed that the average person uses 129 litres of water per day and this water butt will help the St Nathy’s students save the equivalent of almost two days’ of an average person’s water usage.
As well as earning the title of Western Regional Water School of the Year, Marita O’Hanlon of St Nathy’s College was the overall winner of the 2018 poster competition for secondary schools. Her interpretation of the theme ‘Water and the Environment’ was depicted through a surrealist image of a world in a water crisis. Marita joined the event to speak to Green-Schools and Irish Water about the poster competition and what tips she has for next year’s applicants.