Water, Water, Everywhere

As we begin our new unit of study in 2nd grade we’d like your help.   If possible can you answer a few questions so that we can compare water usage around the world.

  1. Do you drink tap water in your country/town/city?
  2. Do you clean it by boiling or filtering it?
  3. What ways do you use water in one day?
  4. Is water scarce or abundant where you live?
  5. Is it free?
  6. If not, how expensive is it?
  7. What ways do you have of conserving water?
  8. Where does your water come from?
  9. Do you have water fountains at your school to drink from?
  10. Do people in your country buy bottled water?
  11. Add anything else that might help us answer our compelling questions

Why is water important around the world and what can I do to help  ensure everyone has clean water? How can I make a difference?


17 thoughts on “Water, Water, Everywhere

  1. Hello Mrs Todd and 2nd Graders,

    Where I live in Australia a lot of people live on ‘Tank Water.’ Tank Water is rain water collected off rooves. At the moment, many tanks are running low because we haven’t had rain for a while. There are a lot of water trucks on the road refilling people’s tanks. The water trucks collect water from water stations in town. Our school is also on tank water.

    I don’t boil my water to clean it. The water goes through a filter before it gets into the house. Tank water and ‘Mains Water’ smell and taste different.

    Ways people save water include using water from the washing machine to water their gardens, turning off the tap when they brush their teeth, collecting water from the shower and using it on the garden, using special shower heads that use less water and lots more! How do you save water?

    At school we have water fountains. We call them ‘bubble taps’.

    People do buy bottled water in Australia. Do people in America?

    Hope the information helps you learn a little about water in Australia. Do you have any other questions?

    Miss Crowther

    • What is “Mains Water?”

      Do you have polluted water?

      Do you have ways to water your outside animals when it is so dry?

      • Hi Mrs Todd,

        Mains water is water that is supplied to houses through pipes from a reservoir. It doesn’t run out like tank water, although we have had water restrictions in the past when reservoir levels get low.

        When dams dry out in paddocks you have to cart water for animals. So far the dams are very low but there is still water in them. We also have a water tank coming of the animal shed which we use to fill their troughs.

        There is some rain forecast for Thursday which will be most welcome as the tanks are low. The animal tank is almost empty.

        Do you have tank water in America?

        Miss Crowther

  2. Hi Mrs Todd and Grade 2,
    I live in one of the wettest parts of England, and water is plentiful! The water that comes out of our taps is clean and delicious, so we drink that all the time. It comes from a reservoir nearby. However, in some of the larger cities, the water is recycled quite a lot of times and doesn’t taste so good. You can drink it, but quite a lot of people choose bottled water – when I go to visit my sister in London, she filters all her water and keeps a big jug of filter water in the fridge for drinking – tap water is fine for all other tasks. In general, water is not boiled before use in this country.

    We use water to make drinks, to wash our pots and our clothes, to brush our teeth, to cook our food, to bath, wash and shower, to flush our toilets, to water our gardens (although we don’t need to do that much, the sky does it for us most of the time!). We collect rain water in a water butt at the back of our house, which we use for watering the garden. We also use water to clean our cars and our pets, to wash our windows and do household chores, and to generally keep things clean.

    Water is abundant where we live. We pay charges (or water rates) for our water supply in the same way that we pay for other services we use like rubbish disposal, or maintaining our roads – we have something called ‘Council Tax’ which each household has to pay. Some people have water metres and pay for the amount they use, this helps to conserve water. It costs about £20 a month.

    We conserve water by not having long showers, collecting our rain water to use in the garden, not washing our clothes every day, turning off the taps when we brush our teeth, and generally not leaving our taps running.

    At school, we drink the water from the taps. We can bring in our own water bottles or use the school cups. We don’t have a water fountain, but they do at the Secondary School!

    Lots of people buy bottled water – so that they can drink water on the go, when they are in a restaurant, or because they like the taste of it. However, it is not as popular as it is in some countries like France or Spain, where they use bottled water most of the time.

    Good luck with your studies!
    Mrs Monaghan

    • What is a water butt? We thought it might be a bucket or barrel.

  3. Hi Mrs. Todd and 2nd Grade,

    I am very lucky to live in a country where we can drink the tap water without any health concerns. I don’t have to boil it or filter it (although some people filter it for a better taste but I don’t think that it is necessary).

    I use water in many ways throughout the day from brushing my teeth and showering to drinking it and using it to cook food.

    We do pay to have water in our houses and on average may spend about $30-40 a month for a small household. We try to conserve water to save money as well to be environmentally friendly. Small things like turning off the tap while brushing teeth and taking shorter showers are ways to help.

    Our water is collected from rainfall, snowmelt, creeks and streams in the mountains of the region’s watersheds, and flows to us through an enormous network of reservoirs, pumping stations and water mains.

    Our school has many water fountains to use as well as bottle filling stations so that people can fill up their bottles rather than buying them.

    A lot of people in Canada buy bottled water. It isn’t necessary but some people like the taste better. There has been a big push for people to return to drinking tap water.

    Here’s something interesting for you to know,
    Canada has more lakes than the rest of the world’s countries combined. Canada is home to approximately 60% of the world’s lakes.

    Miss Adams

  4. I forgot to write where it is that I live. I am in Vancouver, British Columbia.

  5. Dear second graders,
    Here is some information for you about water usage in Mettupalayam, a small school in India. You can find out more about us via A Room with a View’s blog.
    1. No, here in our small village, we have piped water to a central tank where we and our mums collect water each day. The water is usually only coming for a few hours each day though, so you have to go for it when it comes.
    2. At our school, we have a water filter and water tower, which has water pumped from a nearby well. So we can drink clean water all day.
    3. For drinking, hand washing, in our school toilets, to water our school plants. Our school cook uses water for cooking our rice for the mid day meal.
    4. Water is very scarce here as it is a draughty area. We have a monsoon time in October but many years we don’t receive enough. We also have a light summer monsoon in July, but this never brings much rain.
    5. Our water is freely given by the government, before we had the piped water and in many rural villages, we still rely on bore well pumps, and have to spend a long time each day pumping.
    6. If we need to buy bottled water, it costs around 20 rupees for a 1litre bottle (20p or about 32cents)
    7. We use water carefully as it all has to be carried to our homes. We make sure to switch off the school taps. In the dry time, we sometime have to fetch water from the deep wells, the ones near the village sometimes go dry then we have to fetch it from a long way.
    8. Mostly monsoon rain, but the piped water comes a long way from the only river in the state. The bore wells also sometimes stop, if too much is taken.
    9. Yes, we have one water filter and a tank with two taps. We have about 100 children in our school and we all use the water taps.
    10. Not often as it is too expensive. Our fathers may only earn about 200 rupees each day!
    11. Water is very important and when we don’t have enough, it is very hard.
    We hope this is helpful to you!
    Francis and Venkat

  6. Hi Mrs. Todd and Rocky River!

    I live in Arizona now which is in the desert. We are hot and dry most of the year. Water is scarce.

    1.Do you drink tap water in your country/town/city? We do, but most people install reverse osmosis systems or water softener systems to make it taste better.
    2.Do you clean it by boiling or filtering it? flitering it
    3.What ways do you use water in one day? drinking, cooking, bathing, cleaning clothers and dishes.
    4.Is water scarce or abundant where you live? it is scarce since I live in the desert but we have the Colorado River as a water source. We are just mindful to not waste it.
    5.Is it free? no, we have to pay.
    6.If not, how expensive is it? It depends upon the month. usually my bill for my family of 6 people is about $85 and that includes trash pick up, too.
    7.What ways do you have of conserving water? We have certain days we can water landscape and yards, we can’t wash cars with hose in driveway, etc.
    8.Where does your water come from? Colorado and Salt Rivers
    9.Do you have water fountains at your school to drink from? Yes, but also each classroom has a water cooler. It is important stay hydrated when you are living in the desert.
    10.Do people in your country buy bottled water?
    Yes, probably too much…lots of recycling here.

  7. Hello Second Graders! My name is Cornelia and I am a South African. I live in Cape Town – where you will find penguins on our beaches in the Western Cape Provinces!

    1.Do you drink tap water in your country/town/city? Yes, our tap water in the Western Province (one of 9 provinces) is safe to drink.
    2.Do you clean it by boiling or filtering it? Depending on where you live, you could or should filter it, but it is not necessary to boil.
    3.What ways do you use water in one day? I use water to drink, boil water in a kettle for coffee, bathroom use, and in the kitchen for cooking, washing dishes and doing laundry.
    4.Is water scarce or abundant where you live? Water is abundant although there are seasonal droughts that lead to water restrictions.
    5.Is it free? No.
    6.If not, how expensive is it? A monthly bill for one person would total around R 600 per month. That is around $60.
    7.What ways do you have of conserving water? We do not run the tap while the water serves no purpose. Example: turn off the tap when you brush your teeth.
    8.Where does your water come from? Theewaterskloof Dam
    9.Do you have water fountains at your school to drink from? No
    10.Do people in your country buy bottled water? Yes, it has become a popular product over the last seven years.

    • Thank you for responding to us. We appreciate you taking time to help us out as we learn about new people and their cultures and places. We love hearing from new people. Continue to check back with us as we learn.

  8. Water is very precious in Australia. A few years ago we had a drought so we were on water restrictions. You could no longer water your garden so many people put in water tanks and hooked up their grey water to help water their gardens. Grey water is the water from sinks, dishwashers, basins and washing machines. Our water in Melbourne is the best in the world. We all drink straight from the tap. We drink water with every meal.
    The students drink from water fountains or bubblers at school but many also bring a reusable drink bottle to refill with water throughout the day.
    Our dams are now %70 full compared with %28 a few years ago. http://www.theage.com.au/environment/dam-water-levels-dwindling-to-historic-low-20090414-a697.html
    Thanks for sharing your learning!
    Mrs Verona Gridley 🙂

  9. Dear Mrs. Todd’s class,
    Hi my name is Ben and I am from Comox British Columbia Canada. I am from the Climb High class blog.
    I want to answer some of your questions.
    1. Yes we do drink water from taps.
    4. Our water is free.
    8. Our water comes from a large lake called Comox Lake
    9. Yes we do drink out of water fountains at school.
    10. Yes sometimes at vending machines people buy bottled water.
    It was nice to meet you on your blog.

  10. Hello 2nd graders, My name is Mrs. Kinyanjui. I was born and raised in Kenya.
    1 Do you drink tap water in your country. There are two communities Urban and Rural areas and both suffer from lack of access to clean ,safe water. But in Urban cities there is clean safe tap water.
    2. Do you clean it by boiling or filtering it? In Urban cities water is clean but in Rural areas people walk miles and miles to fetch water from rivers and boiling it is safe to drink.
    3. What ways do you use water in one day. The main thing is cooking, washing dishes, taking bath, mopping the house and washing the laundry.
    4. Is water scarce or abundant where you live? Kenya is classified as water scarce country due to drought and water shortages.
    5 Is it free. No.
    6 If not how expensive is it? There is a monthly bill that runs from $50 t0 75.
    7. What ways do you have of conserving water? Turning water off; using glass to brush teeth using rain catchment.
    8. Where does your water come from. Kenyan water come from Mount Kenya, Mt. Elgon, Aberdare Range, Cherangani Hills, Tana River, Mau complex forests.
    9. Do you have water fountains at your school to drink from. The school I went had water fountain, but there are some school children do not have water fountain.
    10. Do people in your country buy bottled water. Yes in big numbers especially in Urban cities.
    Why is water important around the world and what can I do to help? Water is important to every living being, and you can make a difference by getting involved to water projects that serve villages and schools; drilling wells, water dam, water boreholes, and rain catchment systems that can provide a reliable source of drinking water.

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