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Unit 8: Our Water Footprints Reading water meters activity guide and worksheet Developed by This project was funded by the Department of Sustainability and Environment. This work is licensed under Creative Commons Attribution 2.5 Australia licence. A copy of this licence is available at http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/2.5/au/ or by writing to [email protected] However logos are protected Page 1 ofby5copyright. Unit 8: Our Water Footprints Reading water meters activity guide and worksheet Estimated duration: 30-50 minutes Aim To understand the water metering process To calculate average daily water consumption rates at home or school Outcome By the end of this class, students will be able to: use practical and numerical skills in reading water meters use numerical skills in calculating average daily consumption rates make inferences, draw conclusions and make recommendations based on the daily averages Resources Student Worksheet: Reading Water Meters A water meter students can look at, if possible Activity Description This activity will be best if you can show students a water meter. Try to find where the water meters are at the school or college and take them to it. 1. Ask students what the units of measurement are for volume, for example when they are buying drinks. It is also interesting to show them how 1 litre is equivalent to 1 cubic decimetre (that is a cube of 10cm x 10cm x 10cm). 2. Ask them if they know what the prefix “kilo” stands for, as in kilometre. 3. Hand out the worksheet. There are a number of examples of water meter readings on it. Ask students to read the figures and convert them into kilolitres (kL) and litres (L). 4. Students may need help with the interpretive questions. The water consumption is higher than the recommended amount. It may be higher on Saturday for various reasons. It may be household washing day, people may play sport all day and need additional showers before going out or it may be the only day that it is possible to water the garden. Students are then asked to make recommendations to reduce consumption. For example, is it really necessary to have two showers? Could they be Page 2 of 5 shorter? Is the washing machine water setting appropriate for the size of the load? Could more use be made of grey water to water the garden? 5. Have students find a water meter they can check regularly over a period of at least a couple of days. Get students to record the figures, and then answer the questions in the worksheet about this. Student Roles and Responsibilities Participate in agreed tasks Contribute to class discussions Complete activities and worksheets Work cooperatively with others Participate in survey and collect data Identify other sources of information Seek teacher assistance and support when needed Level of Teacher Support Facilitate discussion Organise materials and equipment Provide encouragement Introduce tasks and activities Provide assistance when requested Teach or reinforce statistical or graphical skills and understanding Provide examples of mind maps to assist brainstorming Advise on how to identify sources of information Remind students about timelines and commitments Assessment To use these learning activities as assessment tasks, collect evidence such as: Teacher checklist and observation Student research notes and report Copies of student materials and worksheets Student notes Teacher checklist for class discussions Page 3 of 5 Unit 8: Our Water Footprints Reading water meters worksheet Every house has a water meter that records the water being consumed in litres (L). The school or educational institution you are in has one too. They are usually found somewhere in the front garden. Each three months someone from the local water company reads your meter to find out how many litres you have used and then issues you with a bill. They also issue you with standard changes for other services like the sewage. To read your water meter, start from left to right. For example, the figures in the diagram to the left and the example below read 23,412L. The figures in black are the number of kilolitres (kL). 1000L = 1 kL. The three numbers in red are the number of litres. (Sometimes there is also a fourth number in red, which represents 10ths of a litre. E.g If this read 234125 it would be 23,412L and five tenths of a litre, i.e. 23,412 and a half litres = 23,412.5L.) The meter reader takes an estimate of your water Example. This meter reads 23,412L or 23.412 kL. consumed by recording the figures in black. 0 0 2 3 4 1 2 Write the litres and kL for each of the following meter readings: 1. 0 3 4 1 0 2 8 6 0 5 9 7 3 0 2. You can check your daily use by comparing the figures at the same time each day. For example, if you reading was 61,734L on Saturday 10am and 62,654L on Sunday 10am you could calculate the daily use 62,654 – 61,734 = 920L. How many 9L buckets is that? You can estimate the approximate consumption per person by dividing the total volume consumed by the number of people in the house. If there are four people living in the house, 920/4 = 230L per person. A figure of 230L per day is well above the government target of 155L per day. Q. What reasons can you think of to explain the high consumption on that day? (Clue: Saturday). Q. How could you use the meter to prove there was a water leak in the pipes? Page 4 of 5 Unit 8: Our Water Footprints Reading water meters worksheet, p.2 Activity: Chart the daily consumption of water at home or school 1. Find the water meter and check that you can read the numbers. 2. Decide on a time each day that you can measure the water meter. Try to build it into your routine. For example, on your way to school each day (home) or just before recess or lunch (school). 3. Record the figures in a table. You can use this one or design your own. Day/Date Time Meter Reading Consumption (L) (e.g. Day 2 – Day 1) 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. 8. 9. 10. Total Daily Consumption You can calculate an average daily use by adding the total consumption and then dividing by the number of days. For example, if you used a total of 7000L over a 10 day period, that would be an average of 700L per day. 7000/10 = 700L/day. Q. Calculate the average consumption for that house if 4 people lived there. How are the people in that house doing relative to the 155L per day recommendation? Q. What if it was a 2 person household? What recommendations could you give them to help them get on track? Option: Create a line graph or bar graph to represent your daily water consumption. Page 5 of 5