Water is the liquid of life and yet it is too often taken for granted. From space, our planet appears to have more water than land but less than 1% of our water is actually usable and this precious amount is under threat. We need to understand the value of water so that we can treat it with the reverence it deserves.

The purpose of this project is to provide a resource for teachers who wish to involve their students in a study of their local watersheds and in an exploration of the personal,social, and economic value of water. Through the completion of a water quality research project, students will acquire basic hands-on research methods in the collection of local surface water samples, testing of the samples, and compiling the data for a larger national research grant proposal. By examining the costs (personal, social, and environmental) of using bottled instead of tap water, they will better understand the benefits of proactive maintenance of local water treatment facilities.

We expect that given the opportunity to learn about the value of water from a variety of perspectives, students will decide to act in a more responsible manner with respect to protecting and conserving the watersheds that are the sources of water for their communities, not out of fear, but because they have developed a new appreciation for the importance of water stewardship based on knowledge. We would like them to take away an understanding of the reciprocal man/water relationship:if we maintain it, it will sustain us.