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Every week we feature a fun and/or educational activity you can try at home or in the classroom. Water is a vital resource for agriculture, sanitation and for all human existence. Yet 780 million people do not have access to clean water. In recognition of World Water Day on March 22, Heifer International is highlighting the need for those struggling to emerge from poverty to have reliable access to water.

Garden at Heifer International's Overlook Farm
Vivienne Wychorski holds up a carrot at Overlook Farm in Rutland, Mass., to show volunteer Elizabeth Joseph (right). Photo courtesy of Heifer International

 

Many countries around the world, and states such as Arizona and Nevada, do not receive adequate rainfall to sustain crops. These dry areas may have lakes and rivers, which can provide water for crops, but farmers must first transport water from the natural source. A fun, team irrigation project can help kids understand how farmers have solved this problem.

Photo credit: peacepalacelibrary.nlPhoto credit: peacepalacelibrary.nl

What You Need:

  • Garden or Plants
  • Watering Can
  • Garden Hose
  • Garden Spigot
  • Inflatable Wading Pool
  1. If possible, find an outdoor garden with growing plants. Place the water-filled wading pool about 20-30 feet away.
  2. Gather your group around the garden and ask the kids to pretend there is not enough rain to water the plants where they live. The pool will serve as a pretend nearby lake.
  3. Have the kids work together, suggesting ways to supply the garden with water using only the tool of a watering can.
  4. Once they decide to carry water from the "lake" to the garden, discuss the method's disadvantages (heavy, water spills, tiring, etc.).
  5. Now it's time to show the group a better way to irrigate crops. Explain how farmers store water in tanks instead of only relying on natural water sources.
  6. Have a volunteer attach a garden hose to the water spigot, then run the hose to the garden. Compare the garden hose to pipes which farmers run through their fields to quickly irrigate crops without wasting water.

See Complete Irrigation Project

Find Out More About World Water Day

Author

Chelsey McNiel