SISL > 2012 Sustainability in Math Workshop > Activities > Water conservation

Water conservation

Holly L. Partridge
Genesee Valley Educational Partnership
Batavia, NY
Author Profile


Estimate water waste through leaking faucets in US

Learning Goals

Awareness of wasting resources
Engages students in civil discourse/ communications that lead to more effective decisions

It advances students' literacy around sustainability issues.
Encourages self-reflection and personal development of their voice for solving societal challenges
Promotes creative visioning around sustainable futures
Higher order thinking skills are developed

Context for Use

Class research lab
Each student will count faucets in their home, identify leaky faucets, count number of drips per minute.
Class data will be compiled.
Average number of faucets per home and number of drops leaked per minute.
Estimate number of homes in county, state and country using research
Determine number of drops per faucet per day (number of drops per minute x 60 minutes x 24 hours per day)
Multiply by number of homes in US
Determine number of drops per gallon
Multiply gallons lost by number of homes in US
Contact local water authority to determine cost per gallon.
Multiply lost gallons by cost to determine cost of water wasted by dripping.
Discuss need for proper maintenance of appliances

Description and Teaching Materials

see context for description

Teaching Notes and Tips

Use estimation, averages, tax tables

Mention that if drip is from hot water side, there is additional waste and pollution from the burning of fossil fuels producing the hot water (in most homes)

Energy Hogs game (geared for kids but also useful/educational/enjoyable for all students) at


Discussion of need to prevent resource wastage

References and Resources