Cottonwood amps up water conservation education
COTTONWOOD -- Water customers of the Cottonwood Water utility pay a quarter in their bill every month to support water conservation education.
Now that money is going to go further as the Cottonwood City Council was told this past week.
Conservation dollars raised through water bills will give school children a firm footing in conservation, not just at the primary level, but in grade K-through 8.
Natural Resources Director Tom Whitmer says the Cottonwood area will become the first community in the state to offer such an extensive program and to teach water conservation in all eight grades.
The program was designed and will be presented by Lynda Zanolli, education director of the Verde NRCD (Natural Resource Conservation District) and will be presented through the Cottonwood-Oak Creek Schools.
The city in partnership with the NRCD will exclusively sponsor a program for K through fourth grade and is aligned with the Next Generation Science Standards.
With grants, Zanolli is able to establish water based programs in grades 5 though 8.
The city will co-sponsor a program with the NRCD, Salt River Project and one additional organization for grades 5 through grade 8.
Training based on the next generation science foundation teaches four essential questions, revisited each year: Where is water found on earth? How does water get into and out of houses? Why is it important to Save and Not Waste Water? How can we conserve?
The program was designed by Zanolli.
The Verde NRCD has identified sustainable water and sustainable agriculture as the two priorities.
Zanolli showed a simple exercise using a ball-like globe.
By throwing the ball, council members, the person grabbing the ball has fingers touching continents and also water.
The exercise shows that fingers touch water 65 percent of the time, or the percent of water on the earth.