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29th May 2024

A group of schoolchildren from Glasgow have helped Scottish Water officially launch a nationwide education programme to encourage young people to protect the future of Scotland’s water.

The pupils, from Clyde Primary School in the Knightswood area of the city, joined Scottish Water on a visit to scenic Loch Katrine – the source of the water supply for more than one million people across Greater Glasgow – to formally mark the start of the utility’s Generation H2O programme.

Generation H2O is designed to inspire young people to become part of a movement to celebrate and protect the nation’s water, one of the most valuable and precious resources, creating responsible ‘water citizens’ for a flourishing Scotland and connecting them to Scottish Water by raising awareness of the company and its crucial role across Scotland.

Water from Loch Katrine is transported by the Katrine Aqueduct – officially opened by Queen Victoria in 1859 – to water treatment works at Milngavie and Balmore near Glasgow, where it is treated and supplied to 1.3 million customers across Greater Glasgow area and beyond.

Clyde Primary School is one of almost 270 primaries out of 1988 which have already participated in the Scottish Water lessons (the company has also reached almost 100 of the 361 secondaries across the country) and the visit to Loch Katrine enabled pupils to learn about the water supply from source (the loch) to their own taps at home and to Top Up Taps at either end of the loch.

The pupils’ visit included talks from Scottish Water about the precious resource water is and how they can protect it, and the important health and environmental benefits of topping up from the tap at home and from our network of Top Up Taps across the country – including two at Loch Katrine.

Partner organisations such as Forestry Land Scotland and the Steamship Sir Walter Scott Trust also spoke to them about biodiversity, water safety and the history of the water supply in the area and the launch included a trip on the loch aboard the boat The Lady of the Lake.

Peter Farrer, Chief Operating Officer with Scottish Water, said: “We hope we gave the children from Clyde Primary an enjoyable and memorable experience and thank them for helping us launch Generation H2O in this beautiful part of Scotland.

“Our aim was to take them on a journey where they learned from Scottish Water and our partners about many different aspects of water, biodiversity and history.

“There are 700,000 young people in Scotland, all of whom are current consumers of Scottish water and the next generation of our customers. And the Generation H2O education programme is a great way to help them learn in a fun and engaging way so we hope many more schools will join us.”

He added: “Scottish Water is trying to enable young people to become responsible water citizens who value and protect the water and wastewater networks and to encourage them to reduce their water consumption, use water wisely and become catalysts of behaviour change by encouraging their families, friends and communities to do likewise.

“All of us, young and old, can use water wisely and more efficiently by doing things like taking shorter showers, turning off the tap when brushing teeth, only using washing machines and dishwashers when fully loaded, and reducing the use of water in gardens.”

Claire Campbell, Principal Teacher at Clyde Primary School, said: “We’re delighted to be able to help Scottish Water with this launch of their Generation H2O programme. It really has been a great day out for the pupils and has helped them learn even more about many important water issues.

“Since we joined the programme, we’ve found the quality of resource to be fantastic and the lessons very engaging. This has helped prompt many really good class discussions and it’s been great that the scientific content provided by Scottish Water has been rich and based on the Curriculum for Excellence. I will be recommending the Generation H2O programme to other teachers at Clyde Primary and would encourage all schools to consider joining.”

Lisa Mackinnon, a Primary 6 teacher at the school, added: “Some of our pupils didn’t know that wasting water was even an issue so using the Generation H2O resources has been really beneficial and has prompted lots of debate and many ideas about how to protect our water and reduce waste and how to encourage people not to put the wrong things down toilets and sinks to help avoid blockages. The pupils are taking the messages back to their families and friends and helping spread the word about how to protect water and the environment and that is fantastic.”

The wider Generation H₂O campaign includes aspects such as Mission H2O, an engaging, hands-on primary school challenge aimed at inspiring learners aged 5-11 to protect Scotland’s water where learners take part in H₂O Water Challenges to complete their mission.

In addition, Keep Scotland Flowing is a set of dynamic educational resources that takes learners aged 9-11 on an interactive journey through the water cycle and challenges them to create their own campaign to protect and celebrate Scotland’s water. And Pitch for the Planet enables learners to explore issues in water supply and design solutions to tackle them in a mock Water Summit.

All lessons are aligned to the Scottish Curriculum for Excellence experiences and outcomes, United Nations Sustainable Development Goals and designed to develop important transferable skills including creativity, collaboration, problem-solving and critical thinking that can aid them in the future workplace.

Teachers can register for Generation H2O for free via the National Schools Partnership.

The resources were created by brand and social impact agency We Are Futures and are available to teachers who register on National Schools Partnership (NSP) portal https://nationalschoolspartnership.com/initiatives/generation-h2o-primary/

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