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Students hear drought and water conservation message

Winter rain storms have quieted talk about California’s drought.

But it continues, as do efforts to save water because of our state’s three year dry spell.

A local water agency is continuing its effort to reach out to and educate the Coachella Valley’s youngest water users.

Education specialist for the Coachella Valley Water District, Kevin Hempe, visits schools throughout the Coachella Valley teaching a variety of water-related subjects.

Hempe was at Indio’s Amelia Earhart Elementary School recently where he spoke about the Coachella Valley’s first water users, the Cahuilla Tribe.

Old photos show tribal wells so shallow, some just 30-feet deep, the Native Americans simply walked into them.

Hempe also spoke about our drought and how each and every one of these students can do something to save water.

“We still have our fingers crossed. We’re not out of the drought yet,” said Hempe. “We have until April to see if we’re there. Hopefully we get some more snow. Hopefully we’ll get some more rain, and hopefully we’ll come out of this drought this year,” Hempe added.

The Coachella Valley Water District’s Water Education Program directly reaches approximately 15,000 students each year.

Students learn how to save water while brushing their teeth and taking showers.

A 5 minute shower, instead of a 10 minute shower, would save 30 to 40 gallons of water a day.

Hempe said, “That’s like 115 million gallons a day. That’s enough for 46 families for a whole year if everyone took a five minute shower instead of a 10 minute shower.”

Imported state water helps restore past aquifer overdraft.

Students hear other water-saving ideas including repairing leaks, using a bucket when washing cars and using less grass and more desert plants when landscaping.

Our desert only averages 3 inches of rainfall a year.

Hempe says the first settlers used the water, we use it now and there’s going to be people in the future that need it too.

So we need to ensure that it stays in place, in the aquifer, so we have enough to pass on.

“That’s why conservation is so important,” said Hempe. “Because when you save water, it actually helps to save the aquifer. Every little bit helps.”

KESQ News Team

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