The Water Schools of the Year Awards 2020 have gone to Dominican College in Galway City (second level), and to Gaelscoil Uí Drisceoil in Glanmire Cork (primary).
The 2020 Water Awards ceremony took place online on October 21. The annual ceremony, supported by Irish Water, celebrates the winners of the School of the Year Awards – the Water Ambassador Programme and the Water Poster Competition.
Ireland’s Water Schools of the Year
The judges were impressed by the commitment demonstrated by Gaelscoil Uí Drisceoil (primary) and its work in spreading water conservation messages in school and community. The students collected rainwater, visited a wastewater treatment plant, held a water-themed action day, and also surveyed students on plastic bottle versus reusable bottle use. Their actions led to an impressive decrease in water use, from 11.87 litres per person per day to 9.98 litres per person per day.
Secondary School Dominican College from Taylors Hill, Galway had a similar decrease in per person per day water use, dropping from 10.09 litres to 8.45 litres during the course of their work on the Water Theme. The school also impressed with its work carrying out beach cleans and hosting a political debate on environmental issues.
The two winning schools were chosen from a list of eight regional winners, awarded for their water conservation measures as part of their participation in the Green-Schools Water theme.
For the current school year, the Green-Schools programme has moved much of its interaction. Since March, it has developed a suite of Green-Schools Stay Home resources including 13 weeks of activities related to the Water theme. This is the seventh year of the awards in partnership with Irish Water. Since 2013, over 2,000 schools have attended interactive Water Workshops and Walk for Water Events.
Following the awards today, Geoffrey Bourke of Irish Water said:
“A key part of Irish Water’s role in safeguarding Ireland’s water supplies is helping the next generation understand the importance of conserving water. I am delighted to say that in the past year alone, because of this programme, Green-Schools have saved almost 600 million litres of water.
“The success of the participating schools in reducing water usage and raising awareness about water issues really highlights how important it is to learn about the value of water and water conservation from a young age. That’s why this is such an important programme and one that Irish Water is proud to sponsor.”
MC-ing the awards ceremony from a remote studio, Green-Schools Manager Cathy Baxter said:
“It was definitely not the same to be staring into a camera and set of screens for today’s event, instead of at a group of friendly faces, but we have to carry on. Over 200 members of the school’s communities and each winners’ extended family could watch the ceremony through a live link today and we received messages of support that students and families appreciated their work being rewarded and recognised in this way. Messages like that keep us going at times like this!”
Green-Schools Irish Water Poster Competition
Twelve students won prizes for their artwork designed for Green-Schools Irish Water Poster Competition 2020.
In addition, four groups of students were honoured for their work as Water Ambassadors in their schools and communities.
This year also saw the first group of students winning for their entry to the inaugural video category of the Poster Competition.
SOURCE: Materials provided by Green Schools
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