Engaging Schools to Improve Water Quality and Catchment Health
Hunter Water has proudly partnered with Hunter Local Land Services since 2014 to provide the School Engagement Project. The project provides a series of educational opportunities focussed on building the capacity of teachers and schools to learn about catchment and waterway health, investigate how healthy their waterways are and engage the community to reduce threats to water quality.
Students are encouraged to become Citizen Scientists' and investigate how healthy their local waterways are. Schools can become involved in two activities:
- Water testing
Students are taught how to test the quality of their local waterway using a Waterwatch testing kit. Using simple testing methods, students test temperature, pH, electrical conductivity (salinity), turbidity and available phosphate. Schools can apply to borrow a Waterwatch kit to undertake further testing at their chosen site.
2. Water bug Surveys
Students learn how to undertake macroinvertebrate (water bug) surveys, which are an indicator of catchment health. Students dip net for water bugs in their local creek, then identify, sort and count the water bugs found. Schools can be involved in the National Waterbug Blitz, a nationwide waterway monitoring event. For more information, click here.
For more information about the Waterwatch program, click here.
Schools are invited to participate in a Catchment Crawl, which is a bus tour of their local catchment. Learning opportunities include water testing, water bug surveys, aboriginal culture and heritage, native and pest animals and tours of Hunter Water assets such as dams and weirs.
Students write and illustrate a story book focussed on the theme of healthy waterways. The story is published into an A5 school reader and the students have the honour of becoming published authors. The book is distributed to schools, libraries and throughout the wider community as a resource to help others learn about the topic.
To get involved in the School Engagement Program, contact (02) 4938 4958. For more information about Hunter Local Land Services, click here.