Water Conservation

Every athlete has a way of preparing himself or herself, whether it is an Ipod, food, or sleeping. The way I prepare myself was inherited. Everyday before practice I always saw these seniors taking showers. So now, every day before practice, games, rehab I take a shower. A cold one usually, but this past weekend I was watching this ad for TV, telling about wasting water. Which is ironic because I live in Mililani Mauka. Rain is very frequent. So I always assumed that by me taking my shower I wasn’t making an impact. But now I want to find out if I am. So my project is Water Conservation in Punahou School. I want to find out, how much water is wasted/used everyday, week, and year. I want to find out where most of the water is being used, and if it wasteful. And most of all I want to find out exactly how much water is wasted in the boys and girls locker rooms. And coming up with a solution to help with conservation. I know, some people might think that this isn’t important, but your children will.

Topic: Water Conservation in Punahou School

Comments from Ms. Y: Introduction
Kamden-This is a good start. I like the way you start with your voice and connection to this issue. I have a few comments at this point:
1) In first sentence you say "prepare him/her self". Do you mean prepare for one's sporting event? (maybe could make a little clearer).
2) You say that your preparation is inherited. This means it is a genetic trait, passed to you in genes from your parents. Unfortunately showering isn't something encoded in our DNA! Is there a different way to say this to show you learned this from watching others?
3) This is a very current topic. I am meeting with someone in Communications next week to talk to her about some possible "water conservation" signs that could be posted. It would be great if later, after your research, you could design some posters that would really go up in locations you think would work. What might make an impact on students? Is it possible to change student behavior (specifically to take shorter showers?) How can you help others to care? Do other schools have solutions that have worked?


(Informational Website)
Mono Lake: Water Conservation


This site is about water conservation in California. It shows the importance of conservation. It also has "tips", ways to save water, in different parts of the home. This is a good place to start for general information on Water Conservation, it talks about all aspects of this pressing issue, eg. Outdoor Conservation, to the water energy connection on the home.

Although this site/article isn't abut Hawaii, but the information is nonetheless relevant. We can learn from other states, other coutries.I learned from this article that water conservation is a very solvable problem. Also, I think that I am starting to form an idea of what I am trying to accomplish here. Water Conservation is too big a topic to just tackle the whole thing, I need to figure out how to narrow it down to one part.

Further Questions I have:
Now I wonder why this issue hasnt been tackled yet, it is obviously very important, so why is nothing being done?
Maybe it's because there are so many seperate parts?

(Do-It-Yourself Website)
Low Flow Plumbing Fixtures


This article shows the importance and ease of things like low flow shower heads, and low flow toilets. I learned that although low-flow shower heads are popular. There is a whole low-flow, market that int being touched. This article also gives some good background info on low-flow devices. It talks about how they are effective too. Also it talks about how you can get rebates and tax rebates.

I don't think that this is the direction I would like to go in, it seems slightly dull , but I guess I might be able to incorporate it somewhere... Its not that low flow shower heads aren't important, its just that they are EXTREMELY boring. I think in order to educate people about Water Conservation they need to be slightly intrested, and not bored to death. Although low flow is a valid option, I don't think it is the way to go.

Further Questions I have:
Now I wonder why people make this topic so boring. If you want people to listen, why not make it exciting?
Maybe it's because its only old people talking about this issue?

(Newspaper Article)
Bottled Water is Damaging to the Environment


With this artivle I have shifted my ideas a bit, This article was abut Bottled Water and how bad ti was for the enviromnt, and the lies attached to it.
"A Hawaii high school teacher recently told me her favorite brand of water was the best because it came from the ocean 3,000 feet deep.
"It's not processed," she said. "It's pure."
"But ocean water is salty," I said. "It has to be processed."
"Oh no," she said. "It's fresh way down there."
Together we looked at the label on the front of the bottle: "100% Deep Sea Drinking Water from 3,000 feet." Of course, on the back label it says "desalinated."
Bottled water is this century's snake oil."
THis quote shows the corner stone of this article. Bottled Water is no better nor worse then tap water. As the article told even Pepsi and Coke have admitted to putting Tap Water in a bottle and selling it. Just to clarify Pepsi and Coke also are water companies.

I don't think I am going to take this angle either, but Its cool to think about. I never realized that Bottled Water was bad, or good I thought it was almost nessecary. My parents used to yell at us for drinking tap water, because it was "bad" for you. This shows the "water predjudices" out there (Water Prejudice isn't a real term, but it gets across the point.) However, I learned a lot of cool stuff from this article, like that 20% of the water that we need come from food.

Further Questions I have:
Now I wonder is there a serious danger that the world could run out of water?
Maybe it's because the world doesnt realize how much water we waste?

(Newspaper Article)
The Water Supply in Antelope Valley is Low


In California, One of the major water treatment plants called "Quartz Hill" is being temporarily shut down for upgrades. So for a few weeks the general public's water supply will get significantly smaller. Which means that water conservation will be extremely important for this time period. Essentially the water crunch is forcing people to conserve

The reason that I selected this article for my research is because what would the world be like if we HAD to save water, if Water Conservation no longer was a "good" thing to do, but an expected thing. What if one day we simply ran out of water? How would we survive? This might seem a bit dramatic, or far off but it could happen eventually.

Further Questions I have:
Now I wonder about the water system, why is there so much demand on one?

(Newspaper Editorial)
Unused Items are a Complete Waste of Water


THis article was about Virtual Water. Virtual Water is: "the amount of water that is embedded in food or other products needed for their production." The basic idea is that everything has water. Not directly in it of course, but in the production stages. So for example my computer charger, has water in it. Virtual ater. It also has a water footprint, the same principal as a carbon footprint. For example the water footprint on a single sheet of paper would be 3 gallons.

THis article told me about "virtual water" I think that this is a super cool concept. If water exists in everything, then when you save simple things like grocery bags, you are saving water. I think with this information I will bring the idea of water conservation into alot more practical use. I think that the major problem with WC (water concervation) is that people think it needs to be a huge massive change in thier lives. I think I will make wc seem alot less scary with this article. :) However how can I make this into an action plan? Im not quite sure what this will mean to people, dont get me wrong this is a great concept, but will people care, understand?

(Newspaper Article)
Spiral Effect


SO this article is about SPiral Gardens, on which a workshop took place last May. A spiral garden, is a three dimensional garden, in which the water flows at a downward angle, and waters all of the plants. This is a really cool concept because it also uses rocks, ok let me explain (I bet youre wondering whats so cool about rocks) The rocks dehumidify the soil and improve quality, which intoren helps for good use of the water. THsi workshop was pu ton in partner ship with the board of water supply.

I think this would be a really cool idea for my action plan, to like build a spiral garden, as a model for water conservation, and responsible use fo water. I could film an Imovie about spiral gardens and some other stuff, just gotta think about it I guess. This is awesome, I think I finally narrowed down the topic of my Action Plan, I could educate everyone through use of Spiral Gardens. Wait, wait, wait, how am I oing to do it? Makw a garden? Put on a workshop? Ugh.

Resource (Mrs. Y)
I went to talk to Mrs. Y, and she gave me a really cool idea today. Xeriscaping is what it is called. Its gardening that is water efficent, she said there was even a Xeriscape garden at the Halawa board of Water Supply, and my mom's enginerring firm built it. SO maybe I can use some of her connections.

Short, Simple, and Sweet explination of Xeriscaping

This is a video I found on Youtube last night. This is a really good beginners guide to Xeriscaping, it outlines the way to start your own garden. It also goves some good iformation and statistics. I really like this video becasue it is very basic, and not complex at all. It outlines the basics of Xeriscaping. It shows that it is accessable for anyone to do. I might use this video to ducate people on Xeriscaping?

(Informational Website)


This article is about Xeriscaping, and it talks about how good it is for the enviroment, eg. Water Conservation, Less Mantince, Improves general property value, Pollution Free, and it also requires no pesticides. It talks about the principals of Xeriscaping. It outlines how, when, and where to xeriscape and why it is benefical.

I think this is a really good article because it talks about why we need to Xeriscape, and it outlines the benefits, and the process of doing so. I think that this might finally be the angle I will take to educate the public. Although it may ot seem like gardening will save alot of water, it is actually one of the biggest wastes of water, ever. Xeriscaping could be the first step on the road to universal responsibility.

An example of why Xeriscaping is so very important...

This is a video about Nevada's switch to water friendly landscaping. They have to realize that they are in the middle of a desert! They almost realized it to late. Hawaii never wants to be in this type of situation, where water levels become dangerous. The current situation in Nevada should be a wake up call to the rest of the country.

I think this video is a really great video, talking about the nessecity and practicality of Xeriscaping. It is a nesecary thing to work with the natural climate of the place where you live. If we don't want Hawaii to become a desert then we need to change out ways.

These are just some youtube videos (Water Conservation PSAs, Water Conservation Tips)

Water Conservation PSA


I am interviewing: Randy Overton
He is an expert on: Water Conservation
I am interviewing him on : November 7
I am interviewing him because he runs the physical plant at Punahou, the physical plant is the group that handles Water, and hopefully water conservation.

Interview Questions:
Water Conservation Interview Questions
Kamden Hilliard

1. Do you think the issue of Water Conservation is important?
Yes, I think Punahou also does a great job on this.
2. Presently, what is the largest effort by Punahou School to reduce water waste?
The grey water system at Case Middle School.
3. Is the issue of Water Conservation on the same level as Global Warming?
Well, it should be but not really...
4. Do you think teachers do a good job of educating students on the issue of Water Conservation? (Outside)(Punahou?)
5. What is the biggest waste of water in Punahou School?
6. What is the biggest waste of water in a classroom?
Science Labs, the faucets
7. What are five easy ways to reduce water waste in a home, or school?
8. Is there anything that Punahou could do, that they are unable to do, or simply not doing?
Water tanks under middle field, these would catch runoff water and reroute it to the lily pond
9. Do you think that we will be able to meet the sustainability goals set forth by Dr. Scott? Reduce Punahou’s potable (drinkable) water consumption by 50% by 2016, and by 25% by 2011
10. What will we do in the future to accomplish this?
Rennovations of Academy

11. As an expert right now, do you think we are going in the right direction on water conservation

REFLECTION: I think that this interview gave me alot of insight into Punahou's position on water conservation. I learned that Punahou sits on a private aquafur, so the issue isnt exatly on the top of the list. But, it is still important to the school. We also allow the Board of Water Supply to tap into the aquafur. I learned about alot of the efforts on campus to conserve water, like the Case Middle School grey water/ air conditioning system.


My Action Plan: To promote further understanding of Water Conservation, I am going to make an imovie about Xeriscaping. Xeriscaping is when low water requiring plants are coupled with usually rock, and mulch. THis combonation is really good for the enviroment. It uses water very efficently, and it also promotes native plants. This type of gardening is a model for the type of Water concious society, which we are strivng for.

Benefits of Xeriscapng:
Lower Water Bills
Promotes Water Conservation
Little or no irrigation costs
Increased Native Plant Growth
Soil Improvement
Little/No Lawnmowing
Utilizes all of the rainfall
Not much effort needed
Provides a habitat to Native Animals
No Harmful Pesticides
Improves Property Value
Very Attractive
Helps to promote longer roots, which defend against potential landslide

Final Comments:
Kamden-I'm so happy that you gained some clarity with your project. I know you felt a bit vague initially and uninspired (low flow faucets aren't exciting?!).
Your revisions have made your work better and reflect a greater understanding of different issues related to water conservation. It is also clear that you gained some new insights from your interview with Randy Overton. It is good for our community to be aware of the goals we have set forth and the steps Punahou is taking to meet these goals. The more students understand about these issues and the complexities, the better off we'll be in the future in terms of finding solutions. I like your idea for making a movie on xeriscaping and that you followed through with your plan. Some aspects of your movie were a bit unclear (lighting wise and sound wise); perhaps this is why you chose not to show it to the class as a means of educating them? I'm not sure. Still, I think students learned something new from your presentation; too bad we couldn't take them to the Board of Water Supply on a field trip. That would have been fun and I bet would have added to their understanding...