Inyo students get drought education

– Press release

Inyo County Schools on the Forefront of Drought Education with New Water Awareness Campaign

When Governor Jerry Brown issued California’s first-ever, statewide, mandatory restriction on water use on April 1, 2015 calling for a 25% reduction in potable water use, Inyo Schools realized that they needed to help educate their 2500 students with a drought education program for all students Pre-kindergarten thru high school.

Inyo School Superintendent Terry McAteer said, "50% of our youth do not have internet connection at home."

Terry McAteer

“We have an obligation to assist in this drought and the most important aspect is educating our youth to become better stewards of our water and help educate their family into conservation,” said County Superintendent of Schools Dr. Terry McAteer

The campaign, targeting all Inyo County students from kindergarten through twelfth grades, consists of two programs: a Water Detective awareness program for K-4 and a science curriculum for grades 5-12.

Middle and high school students start with a quiz to assess what they already know about local and statewide water use. They will also be encouraged to use figures from the U.S. Census Bureau and the 2013 Bishop Water Rate Study to calculate how much water would be saved each day in Inyo County if we were to match Governor Brown’s call for 25% reductions in water use. Students will then generate and share lists of ways they can personally conserve water.

Countywide Science Coordinator Kerry Lozito developed the curriculum for grades 5-12 in cooperation with local science teachers and agency specialists including Bob Harrington, Director of the Inyo County Water Department; Dave Grah, Director of the City of Bishop Public Works; Dustin Blakey, Director of Inyo-Mono U.C. Cooperative Extension; and Mark Drew, Sierra Headwaters Regional Director for California Trout and the Director of Inyo-Mono Integrated Regional Water Management Plan.

“The main goal of the curriculum is to motivate and empower young people to take action in the face of California’s current water crisis,” said Superintendent McAteer.

The Pre-K through 4th grade Water Detective program has the same goal, but has tailored the message to the younger group with a fun visit from “Water Detective Chief” Mitzi Eilts, who teaches the children why water is important and the role they play in saving it.

After the children participate in the presentation, they are given kits—that include an assortment of items ranging from fun, Water Detective I.D. cards, badges and magnifying glasses to more educational activity books—and a simple, yet powerful, mission: detect ways to save water and encourage others to do the same.

McAteer wished to congratulate his staff in meeting tight timelines to get this program into every classroom before the end of the school year. He commended Staff member Annie Blakey for coordinating the entire project.



9 Responses to Inyo students get drought education

  1. Low-Inyo May 30, 2015 at 1:26 pm #

    Maybe show the students what NOT to do…show them pictures of the SoCal freeway-watering,the big green,lush lawns at the L.A. mansions with sprinklers going at noon,and those THOUSANDS of swimming pools the movie stars and elite get to fill and use while we’re watching our lawns and plants die here in Inyo County.

    • Ken Warner May 30, 2015 at 8:59 pm #

      Low-Inyo: You don’t get it. The rich live to different standards than us.

  2. Michael Prather May 31, 2015 at 4:34 am #

    Thank you ICOE for responding to realtime issues here in Inyo County. Water is an issue all around our planet and will only become more critical in the future. Students and all citizens must learn the facts, presented accurately, in order to not fall victim to rumors and conspiracies. The truth is scary enough. Thanks again.

  3. Mark May 31, 2015 at 4:52 am #

    Show them how water will flow up hill towards money.

  4. Rosie D. May 31, 2015 at 4:54 pm #

    When we were kids on the farm in Mo, my grandma would get water from an old barrel that caught rain water if we were lucky to get any rain. We had an old well that we depended on for cooking and drinking. we had no in door plumbing. When we washed clothes with a rub board all gray water was used for washing the wood floor, the rest was for any plants on the front of the house. Water was like gold to all of us. We were very conservative. For people that have never been there, they don’t understand the basics of life and how to survive. And I hope to the creator no one will have to go in that direction. And yes, there just have to be greed with the I don’t care attitude.

  5. Philip Anaya May 31, 2015 at 5:08 pm #

    I hope that this great program can lead to many beneficial results like students, one day seeking careers both in the sciences and natural resource administration . The program with cooperative efforts of Federal , State and County Agencies including the DWP could evolve into internships ,the development of Cerro Coso College into a 4 year institution and more . Our natural setting is the perfect classroom . The vision and this latest initiative of the Inyo County Office of education is to be applauded . Being so envious of this opportunity makes an old viejo wish to “hang on to 16 as long as you can”

  6. hopeful June 3, 2015 at 10:41 am #

    Sure, it sounds good, and it is a good idea, but how do we know they will be teaching our children actual facts and truth? I have a hard time trusting our goverment and or our education system. In my opinion, more often than not, schools are used to brainwash. People easily assume it must be true if we learned it in school. Unfortunatly. that is not always the case. We should all be teaching our children not to be wasteful and how to conserve, within our homes. We should all pay closer attention to our surroundings and our resources. Problem is, most adults today, are just plain wasteful. Notice the article refers to numbers “as of April”. Perhaps I am ill informed, but I believe we just had one of the wettest May’s recorded.

  7. Rick O'Brien June 3, 2015 at 10:27 pm #

    These are ALL positive comments, yet there are always 1 or 2 negatives….totally un-necessary thumbs down, on the comments. On EVERY story ! There could be an article that a cure for cancer has been found and this person would dump on it ! What a pleasure it must be to be you, Debbie or Doug Downer !

  8. Low-Inyo June 4, 2015 at 1:43 pm #

    Rick O’brien….Welcome to the internet….Just the way it is for LOTS of people…With my comment above,probably a bit negative,but also …IMO….truthful…kinda like Ken Warner points out…The rich and elite live by different standards,and are allowed to do so.The ones that will suffer the most from all this,is the middle-class,lower middle-class when they get their water bills,which I’m betting are going to increase dramatically,even with their and my conserving.And along with the higher bills,also not much of a lawn left around their homes.The rich will do as they please,with no consequences,or if they do get citations or warnings of abuse and/or mis-use,able to buy their way OUT,not pay anytype of fines or penalties,much like they’re able to do with our judicial system.Like Ken Warner says,just the way it is…..


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