Thiruvananthapuram: Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE) has made water conservation one of the main themes of activities in schools.
In its pursuit of qualitative improvement of education in all affiliated schools, it has prepared ten Handbooks Manuals on various innovative and qualitative measures taken by the Board during the 2018-19 and 2019-20 academic sessions. Besides this, for the first time, CBSE has also prepared a calendar of major activities to be done in the academic session 2019-20.
One of the Handbooks is on Eco-Clubs and Water Conservation. The Board, through this Handbook, proposes schools to strengthen Eco-Clubs and create measures for water conservation.
While Eco-Clubs would continue to promote the environment and climate literacy and motivate learners to become champions for environmental sustainability, the thrust of this year’s activities will be on water conservation.
CBSE has mandated schools to become “water-efficient” within the next three years by adopting a policy of water management and conducting regular water audits.
According to water conservation guidelines, the schools have to replace old fixtures and appliances with water-efficient models, install automatic taps with sensors and double flush tanks on priority, ensuring regular check-ups for leakages and their prompt fixing.
Installing rainwater harvesting structures, planting native and drought-tolerant plants and replacing old fixtures are the major suggestions.
The board has also recommended increasing water literacy, expanding current teaching on water topics and organising water conservation education workshops besides student visits to water treatment plants.
Athul Sreejith and Asha Janardan of L’ecole Chempaka International, Thiruvananthapuram, have come out with a paper as a part of their Earthian Project- 2019 on Sustainability and Water to create awareness on water conservation.
Mr Sreejith argued that the best way for your community to curb water consumption is through awareness.
Educate others in your community about efficient water practices and spread this information to as many people and other communities as possible.
Communities can also work with grant programs to fund conservation projects to help reduce freshwater usage while also encouraging local governments to pass water-saving ordinances.
Governments set water quality standards, issue water-use permits and ensure reliable supplies for the communities they serve. They also have the power to control consumption rates.
Because it is the government’s responsibility to prepare for drought and emergencies, most water agencies promote efficient water use and water conservation.
They educate citizens through public service programs and announcements, and by partnering with local conservation groups, Mr Sreejith said.
His classmate Ms Janardhan said that good and safe drinking water is essential to keep every student healthy and fit. About 80 per cent of the human body is made up of water.
Body and brain work well when it is hydrated well. It is indeed heartening to find out that we are getting safe water for use in our school, she said.
On the efforts of the school on the issue, they said the school has reached sustainability as far as water is concerned, with less dependence on water.
For the last two years, we have not bought water in tanker lorries, even in the height of summer; which we had to do earlier, which is proof enough that we are moving towards sustainability, even though consumption has increased, they said.
Jyothis Chandran, chairman Jyothis Central School, Kazhakuttom said that the school had taken efforts for water conservation earlier as well.
As per new rules, school buildings will be given permits only if they have water conservation mechanisms like rainwater harvesting.
The school has also taken efforts to provide awareness on water conservation. Hence, the new circular was one in the right direction, said Mr Chandran....