Catchment management: what’s in a drop?

Time Allocation: 40 minutes*

Activity Level: Moderate


This learning activity explores urban water consumption and waste water. Conduct a water audit at home or school to discover where water is wasted in your life and what you can do to save water.


  • Printable activity sheet
  • Pencils
  • Clipboard
  • Map of the School and grounds
  • Instructions

    STEP 1:

    What’s in a drop?

    Use the list of water sustainable strategies from the water sustainability activity and discuss which are most effective in your area and why.

    Then discuss some of the water sustainable strategies you see at home and at school.

    STEP 2:

    How to conduct a water audit

    Watch the Sydney Water video on how to conduct a water audit.

    Prepare for your school water audit.

    Divide the school into five zones and mark them on the school map. Divide the class into five groups. Assign each group a school zone, provide activity sheets and maps and allocate someone in the group who can write the notes.

    STEP 3:

    School water audit

    In your assigned groups, use the activity data sheet and complete the school water audit. Ensure that you:

    • Add group location, including building and room number
    • Tally up all water devices
    • Record any water saving features for each device (such as tap aerator, tap timer).
    • Record the number of any broken devices
    • Record any dripping devices.

    Make sure you turn devices off during the audit. Notify staff to ensure all rooms are accessible and set a time limit of 20 minutes for the audit.

    STEP 4:

    Assessing the audit and ideas to be more sustainable with water use

    Use the water usage table in the activity sheet to determine the number of litres of water that is wasted daily for each device.

    Record daily litres of water used against each of the broken or leaking devices. Add these to calculate the total litres of water used in a day and determine the daily total of water wasted.

    Discuss: Where are the locations that have wasted the most water? What ideas do you have to help reduce water wastage at your school or location? How can you encourage behaviour change amongst your peers?

    Extension Activity

    The Water Footprint network explains What is a Water Footprint? Use the personal water footprint calculator to calculate your personal water footprint.

    Make a water management plan for your school.