Water – abuse it and you'll lose it. Students learn how to be waterwise!

Three children hold small cups and an adult is pouring water into themAt one of Christchurch’s water pumping stations, students investigate the importance of valuing water as a precious resource. They compare water use around the world and view the various pump station components.

The programme finishes with a range of problem solving and reinforcement activities. Students can continue their learning at school with a Christchurch City Council water diary and mathematical challenge.

Year level 5 to 8
Curriculum level 2 to 5
Availability Year round
Length 2.5 hours (morning),
2.25 (afternoon)
Site Main Water Pumping Station, Colombo Street
Cost Free
Number of students Maximum 35 students

Risk analysis and management (RAM)

Programme outline

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 1 to 4   
  • Investigating in science 
  • Communicating in science 
  • Participating and contributing.
Science  Planet Earth and beyond 2 to 4   
  • Earth systems 
  • Interacting systems.
Social Sciences    2
  • Understand how people make choices to meet their needs and wants.
Social Sciences    3
  • Understand how people make decisions about access to and the use of resources.
Social Sciences    4
  • Understand how exploration and innovation create opportunities and challenges for people, places and environments 
  • Understand how producers and consumers exercise their rights and meet their responsibilities.
Social Sciences    5
  • Understand how people’s management of resources impacts on environmental and social sustainability.
Technology Nature of technology 2 to 4
  • Characteristics of technology
Health and physical education Personal health and phyisical development 2 to 5
  • Safety management
Health and physical education Healthy communities and environments
  • People and the environment


“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