student action on Saskatoon water attitudes competition

Thanks to funding from RBC's Blue Water Project, the Safe Drinking Water Foundation (SDWF) is privileged and excited to hold the Student Action on Saskatoon Water Attitudes competition. You and your students can participate in the competition and win a big prize while improving the water situation in Saskatoon!

Since 2001, the SDWF has been providing schools with the materials and support necessary to educate young Canadians about water quality issues through its distribution of water education kits to over 2,600 schools across Canada. During the 2015-2016 school year a Student Action on Canadian Water Attitudes Competition was held. The winning schools were located in Edmonton, Alberta and Nelson, British Columbia. Now, it is time for us to focus on the issues in the community in which we have our office, Saskatoon. Saskatoon students will take action and compete for a large prize in the Student Action on Saskatoon Water Attitudes competition.

Taking place during the 2017-2018 school year; this competition is being offered to students, in kindergarten to grade 12, in Saskatoon to investigate water issues in their city. The first five elementary schools in Saskatoon which register to compete will receive two Elementary Operation Water Drop kits each and the first five high schools in Saskatoon which register to compete will each receive one High School Operation Water Drop kit (this is subject to change based on the number of elementary schools and high schools which register). The competition will involve students surveying their community to get an understanding of knowledge and attitudes on a topic of their choice and presenting their findings in a report. The winning class/group will be presented with one water bottle filling station and a plaque!

Students will be tasked with understanding and educating residents in the community on their choice of issues such as: flood control due to impermeable surfaces, amount of energy required to treat water, high daily water consumption of Saskatoon residents (anybody taking one hour showers in your household?!), and uses of potable water. A necessary component is to also teach people where their tap water comes from (a surprising number of people don't know!). Along with the focus on water quality and security, students will learn how to conduct baseline surveys, process data, and create a report. Their projects will have five steps:

1. They will brainstorm and decide on a water issue in their community to address.
2. They will conduct preliminary surveys.
3. They will develop a plan and take action to educate and involve people in the community concerning the water issues they have chosen to address.
4. They will conduct follow-up surveys.
5. They will present the results of their efforts (i.e. report and pictures/video/etc.) which will be judged by a panel of water experts in order to declare the winning group of students.

We will be holding webinars to teach students how to do every step of the project. We will be there to support you and your students every step of the way! We will always be available to answer questions, help with tech issues, or just to bounce ideas off of – only a phone call (1-306-934-0389) or e-mail message (info@safewater.org) away!

By joining us in changing attitudes on water issues facing Saskatonians, your students not only have a chance to win an amazing water themed prize package but will be proactive in positive change in their community and environment!

If you have any questions about the competition or would like more information, please do not hesitate to contact Nicole Hancock, Executive Director at 1-306-934-0389 or info@safewater.org

If you don't live in Saskatoon but would still like to participate you are more than welcome to attend the webinars, e-mail us about your project and any questions you have, and submit a final report. However, you will not receive any Operation Water Drop kits for registering for the competition and you will not be eligible to win the prize.


competition webinars

The First webinar: Launch and water issues

tHE SECOND WEBINAR: preliminary suRVEYS


Final reports will be due: February 16, 2018 (subject to change)

To complete the final report of your project and have your project judged for prizes you will need the following information: 

- Your school’s contact information

- Whether the project took place in Saskatoon (if your project did not take place in Saskatoon your school will not be eligible to win a prize package. However, we still appreciate forms being completed for projects which took place in other communities!)

- Description of your action project (including the issue you decided to tackle, why you chose that issue, the steps you took to distribute surveys, educate the community, and the reaction you received from community members) in 750 words or less.

- Whether your students attended or watched any of the webinars which were held by Safe Drinking Water Foundation. If yes, you will need the number of webinars and the number of students who attended/watched the webinars.

- The number of youth (0 to 24 years of age) who were directly involved in the implementation of this project (i.e. students who wrote surveys, educated community members, distributed surveys, etc.)

- The number of volunteers (if any) who were involved in the implementation of this project (parents, people from local companies who volunteered, general community members, etc.) and the number of volunteer hours which were invested into your project.

- The number of people you educated.

- The number of these people who were youth (0 to 24 years of age)

- The number of surveys which were distributed and the number of people who completed each survey

- The number of community educational events which were held (i.e. the number of times your students spoke at an assembly about water issues, the number of events at which they spoke, etc.).

- The number of any formal or informal partnerships which were developed through collaboration as a direct result of this program/project (for example, did you get the employees at a local company involved, or a local watershed group, etc.)

- The number of litres of water saved or the number of litres of water saved and the number of water saving devices installed.

and/or

- The square meters of impermeable surface (ex: concrete) made permeable.

- An outline of the process you used in order to calculate the decrease in water usage, the number of water saving devices installed and/or the square meters of impermeable surface made permeable, including a description of the conversion factors, worksheets and/or calculations you developed.

- The percentage of survey respondents who were correct when they responded to the first survey in regards to from where the city’s tap water comes.

- The percentage of survey respondents who were correct when they responded to the last survey in regards to from where the city’s tap water comes.

You can submit up to 12 photos and one video that is five minutes in length or shorter. You can send photos and a video to info@safewater.org.

By submitting photos and/or a video, you consent that SDWF and RBC have the right to use the photos or video provided. (Note: Depending on your school's/school division's policies you may need signed release forms.)

Your Final Report can be submitted here


Judging Information

The judges (SDWF staff members for the objective categories and volunteers for the subjective categories) will give marks for each of the following categories:

Objective criteria, marked by SDWF staff members

1. Percentage of people who now know where the city’s drinking water comes from (out of 5 possible marks).

2. Number of community members who were engaged in the project (out of 5 possible marks).

3. Litres of water conserved or area of impermeable surface made permeable (out of 5 possible marks) – if actions were made in both areas the one for which the higher mark would be awarded will be judged.

Subjective criteria, marked by volunteers

4. Students changed community members’ attitudes and/or behaviours regarding water (out of 5 possible marks).

5. Pictures and/or videos were included which represent the project (5 marks, 3 marks or 1 mark).

6. Community Members of Various Ages Were Engaged in the Project (out of 3 possible marks).

Judges’ and Safe Drinking Water Foundation staff members' decisions will be final.


Student Action on Saskatoon Water Attitudes Resources

Most Canadians take water for granted. We think we have lots of it and it will always be there. So in 2008, RBC started polling Canadians about their attitudes towards water—to see if the serious water issues around the world were having an impact on how we use and think about water, and tracking whether our attitudes are changing.

RBC has encouraged the broad dissemination of the data and its findings because they want to help contribute to a healthy conversation about the value and vulnerability of water in Canada.

Water Usage Calculators:

Other Resources:

Water Conservation Information:

1 U.S. Gallon = 3.79 Litres

1 Imperial Gallon = 4.55 Litres

Approximate Water Usage of Household Appliances:

Example of calculation of water usage (shower head flows at 190 U.S. gallons per hour for 10 minutes):

Water used per minute in U.S. gallons: 190 U.S. gallons/60 minutes = 3.17 U.S. gallons/minute

Water used per minute in litres: 3.17 U.S. gallons x 3.79 litres/U.S. gallon = 12 litres

Water used in ten minutes: 12 litres x 10 minutes = 120 litres

If you need any help with calculations, worksheets, etc. please contact Nicole Hancock at info@safewater.org or 1-306-934-0389, she does have time to help you (and she loves math - actually, she's also a high school math teacher!).