BUCKETS OF WATER?
The wise use of water
Alan M. Barker
As with all rapid response assemblies, you might need to update this assembly prior to use.
Suitable for Whole School
To consider the wise use of water with reference to the drought affecting southern and eastern areas of the UK.
Preparation and resources
You will need a toothbrush, a 9-litre (2-gallon bucket) and a 1-litre bottle of water.
- An additional 15 buckets (beg, borrow, but don’t steal!) to represent the daily water usage of one person – or cut-out motifs used in a display.
- (Optional) swingbin containers can be used to represent larger quantities of water.
- Large letters for display, if the acrostic is used.
- If used as a class assembly, children could pose and capture suitable images for use in a PowerPoint presentation.
- Water company websites provide further background information.
Produce a toothbrush and a bucket and ask: ‘How many buckets of water does it take to clean your teeth?’ Go on to explain that, while this question might seem strange, if a tap is left running for two minutes, it could fill up to two buckets of water! Display the bottle of water and observe that little more than a litre of water is actually needed – less if a plastic beaker is used – but often we forget how much water we are using.
- Invite the school community to consider the everyday use of water. Draw upon the buckets to illustrate the amounts required. (It’s fun to place the buckets at the back or side of the assembly hall so that children must repeatedly fetch and carry them to the front).
– Washing hand and faces 1 bucket
– A three minute shower 3 buckets (linger a little longer and it will be 4! A bath would use 8 buckets!)
– Flushing the loo 1 bucket (maybe four or five times a day! add another 4 buckets
– Washing up 2 buckets (a dishwasher might use 5 buckets and a washing machine 10)
– Watering some flowers or vegetables 2 buckets
Observe that while the amounts are not exact, this number of buckets gives a fair idea of how much water one person might use in a day – up to 150 litres.
- Explain that, in many parts of the UK this summer, it will be important not to waste water. Many months of dry weather have led to a drought. (Explain that this means a lack of water.) Less rain has soaked into the ground and river levels are low. In some areas, hosepipe restrictions have been introduced. This is to ensure that water is used wisely and well.
- Return to the opening question. Everyone can help to save water by not leaving taps running when cleaning their teeth and washing their hands! You might even like to ask your parents to save ‘old’ water (grey water) from washing up to use on the garden: you’d be amazed how much there is! (Water company websites have other suggestions for saving water which can be referred to in discussion).
- Conclude by observing that we can’t make water. It must never be taken for granted! Water falls as rain, flows into rivers, and soaks deep into the earth as part of ‘a never-ending cycle’. By using it wisely, we can help to protect the environment and ensure that there is enough for everyone to use.
Time for reflection
Think of the different ways in which we use water.
It’s so important. Without water nothing can live.
A group could introduce the following acrostic:
W Don’t Waste it!
A Be Aware!
T Turn off the tap!
E So that everyone can Enjoy
R Refreshing WATER!
help us to use water
and all the earth’s resources
wisely and well,
thinking not only of our own needs
but remembering others as well.
Song and music
‘Living and Learning’ (Out of the Ark: Songs for Every Assembly)
‘Water of life’
‘All creatures of our God and King’ (Come and Praise, 15)