The Nueces River Authority works to strengthen appreciation of basin water resources and the symbiotic relationship between land and water. Our classroom education program uses a watershed model and other hands-on activities to show thousands of students each year how pollutants enter and contaminate rivers and aquifers and how everyone can help protect and conserve water resources. Local groundwater conservation districts, businesses, community groups, and others partner with us to deliver our Up2U litter prevention campaign to promote personal responsibility for clean rivers. NRA’s education program is a recognized winner, receiving the National Wetlands Award in 2004 and the Texas Environmental Excellence Award in 2008.
This 7 foot long scaled relief model of the Nueces River Authority basin demonstrates watershed function and non-point pollution and introduces the relationship between river basins and aquifers. It is used to reinforce 5th grade Texas Essential Knowledge and Skills and cultivate their understanding of our water resources, including watersheds and river basins. Delivered by seasoned, skilled teachers, this hands-on lesson helps students see where their water comes from and where it goes. Participants are able to identify where they live on the model and see how their activities impact the health of the water resources in the whole basin. Students are also encouraged to become personally responsible for keeping our water clean through our Up2U water conservation and litter prevention campaign.
Land cover greatly effects water quality and quantity. This demonstration illustrates how land cover can influence groundwater recharge and surface water runoff both in terms of quantity and in terms of quality. It is delivered mostly at County Ag Fairs and Stock Shows and supports the 4th grade study of erosion and weathering. Different types of vegetative cover are demonstrated along with bare ground and impervious cover. In the demonstration, Eastern gamma. a native riparian grass generates 100% clear groundwater with no run-off.
This miniature barn is equipped with gutters and a rain water collection system calibrated to show how much water can be collected by a simple system. It is an engaging tool delivered along with video presentations by Billy Kniffin, one of Texas’s leaders in rainwater harvesting.
The Up2U campaign for personal responsibility and litter prevention speaks to students, as well as adults, by empowering them to make better choices about water and its protection. Litter bags are distributed from the headwaters to the beaches by volunteer advocates and recreation service organizations. The bags are also given to students as a follow-up and personal challenge following each lesson.
This model is presented in the 7th grade to show how water recharges a sand or karst aquifer, how wells tap an aquifer and how a plume of pollution can move through the ground and impact water quality coming from a water supply well. Students learn about groundwater aquifers, recharge, and personal responsibility.
On behalf of the Wintergarden Groundwater Conservation District and the Evergreen Underground Water Conservation District, we are implementing rainwater harvesting demonstration projects on 21 school campuses within 7 basin counties. The purpose of the project is to raise awareness of water resources, develop accountability of their use, and to cultivate student and community involvement in water conservation. Rainwater catchment projects range from barrels or basin gardens that catch or redirect roof valley run-off, to guttered collection systems and large storage tanks for irrigation of athletic fields. Each project is customized to the particular campus or facility and local education applications.
Do you know how to keep our water clean?
An introduction to pollution; storybook interactive reading exercise with cute graphics and basic facts about water/wastewater and solid waste for 3rd grade. This lesson can be localized and offers research activities investigating what happens to local solid wastes and wastewater. It can be used as a basis for a 6 weeks unit or a one-session support activity.