Learn how to be waterwise at one of Christchurch's pumping stations.

Student drinking waterStudents investigate the importance of valuing water as a precious resource, compare water use around the world, and take a tour of the pumping station.

Students can continue their learning at school with a Christchurch City Council water diary and mathematical challenge.

Year level 5 to 13
Curriculum level 2 to 8
Availability Year-round
Times 9.30am to 12noon, or 12:15pm to 2.30pm
Site Main Water Pumping Station (Colombo Street)
Cost Free
Number of students Maximum of 35 

Key concepts

Water conservation and preservation, personal responsibility for action, the water cycle, aquifers, local freshwater systems.

Lesson description/intentions

From the aquifers through to our taps, students will discover how Christchurch residents access some of the world’s best water. During a visit to the water pumping station, students will compare Christchurch’s water usage with the rest of the world to see how much we waste. They will tour the pumping station to see the big water tank, water pumps and the old control room.

The programme winds up with a range of problem-solving and reinforcement activities.

Possible success criteria

Students may be able to:

  • explain the terms water cycle and aquifer
  • describe the course water takes before it comes out of a tap
  • understand that no matter who or where we are that we depend on water
  • explain reasons for conserving water
  • identify actions they can take to support a sustainable water supply.

Key competencies

  • Using language, symbols, and texts – students will investigate oral and visual texts and symbols to gain an understanding of the extent to which fresh water is a precious resource.
  • Relating to others – students will explore and discuss different societies' access and attitudes to fresh water.
  • Managing self – students are encouraged to justify the actions they will take as a result of the information and activities they are exposed to during the programme.
Learning area Strands Curriculum level Achievement objectives
Science  Nature of science 2 to 4 
  • Investigating in science 
  • Communicating in science 
  • Participating and contributing
Science  Planet Earth and beyond 2 to 8 
  • Earth systems
Social Sciences    2 to 8
  • L2: Understand how people make choices to meet their needs and wants.
  • L3: Understand how people make decisions about access to and use of resources
  • L5: Understand how people’s management of resources impacts on environment sustainability
  • L6 to L8: Geography
Technology Nature of technology 2 to 8
  • Characteristics of technology
Health and physical education Healthy communities and environments 2 to 5
  • People and the environment
Mathematics and statistics Number knowledge
2 to 8
  • Number strategies and knowledge
  • Measurement
  • Statistical investigation and literacy

“The educators were knowledgeable and related well to children. Excellent content and sequence of activities – well balanced and interesting. Snakes and ladders excellent conclusion. Kids loved it!”  – Teacher, Year 8

“We are so lucky with our pure water but we take it for granted and if we keep using our water as we are now, sea water will enter our aquifers because there won't be enough pressure and then we will have to use chemicals to purify our drinking water. We need to start saving water”  – Student, Year 7