Let us be careful to water resources
During the period of April 29 to May 4 the "Country Water Partnership" NGO implemented a four-day training course on "Let us be careful to water resource" in Shirakatsy lyceum within the framework of the ecological education week.
The training was attended by 30 students of 8-10 grades.
The main objective of this initiative was to raise awareness among students, introduce them to the existing water challenges and directly involve them in water resources conservation and management process.
On the first day of the training course the water circulation, catchment basin idea, the main sources of water pollution was introduced to the students. A film on the water cycle entitled "A real story about water – violated water circulation" was introduced to the students. The film represented water circulation and the impact of human activities on water resources and their consequences.
The following main issues were discussed in the class: what is water? what purposeful use does it have?, reasons and possible consequences of water pollution.
Besides, 2 presentations entitled "Letter from 2070” was also presented to the students. One of them presented the water problems in the future and what results they can have, if each of us is not decisive today and appropriate procedures are not taken to protect the existing water resources and not to pollute them.
The other presentation too represented the future condition of water resources and humans in case of actions taken already today.
The students discussed the presented material, concluding as a result that each of them will have to input its share of effort for protection of water resources and minimizing pollution and unreasonable use of resource.
On the second day of the course, the process of water quality monitoring was represented to the students: what is water monitoring, and how to prepare a water body study plan. The main emphasis was laid on the physicochemical monitoring of water. The basic physical and chemical parameters that are used for physical and chemical monitoring of water quality were introduced to the students.
The toolkit of "World Water Monitoring Challenges" was also introduced to the students, with the help of which they carried out physical-chemical monitoring of water taken from 3 different sources.
The students were charged with making analysis of the data obtained as a result of the experiment for approximate assessment of water quality.
On the third day, the students represented the analyzes, each of the 3 groups shared the obtained results with the other students.
Here is one of these analyzes, presented by student Shushan Galstyan.“We made an experiment to determine the quality of the water sample by the toolkit. The kit consisted of a cup, two thermometers, pills and 2 small vessels.During the experiment, we measured the water temperature through thermometer, 21°C, determined the dissolved oxygen content in water through the small cylinder and 2 pills for "dissolved oxygen determination", 4 mg / l. Afterwards, using these 2 data, we decided oxygen saturation level of water, it was 45 %.
With the help of the other test cylinder and "pH-determination" pill we found pH of water, pH = 10.
For determining the water turbidity we used a glass, Secchi disk and a comparative scale. As a result, we obtained a value for turbidity.Based on the results obtained, it can be concluded that the tested water was of average polluted level.
At the end of the lesson, I found out that we had checked the quality of water taken from the pool in “Haghtanak” Park.After discussion of the previous day's test data, the basic biological monitoring process of water quality and the organisms used for biological water quality assessment were introduced to the students.An imitation of biological monitoring of water (replacing the bio-indicators of water quality with various items), and the resulted data analysis was done.The content of each of animal groups in water as compared to the total content of macro invertebrates was determined, as well as pollution tolerance index, as a result of which it turned out that in the 2 tested water samples the water was of potentially good quality and in the third sample it was of excellent quality.At the end of the course books were disseminated among the students. The books contained the methods of biological monitoring of Armenian rivers and tributaries and the obtained results.
On the fourth day of the course the students discussed again the results of the biological monitoring of water, after which the concepts of catchment basin and non-point and point pollution sources were introduced to. The collective impact on the catchment basin was discussed.
The students imitated the developments in the community located in the catchment basin to study the possible impacts of the development on water quality and environment.
Information on water footprint and virtual water was introduced to the students, educational presentations were shown. At the end of the lesson the students assessed the course by assessment sheet, mentioning its efficiency, applicability, accessibility and presented their comments and suggestions.As a result of the analysis of the assessment sheets it turned out that the students highly appreciated the course, considering it efficient. The materials presented during the course was assessed as accessible, and the discussions and way of presentation, as efficient.
The main suggestion by the participants was that the course is held also in other schools that will allow involving more students in water resources protection processes as a result of increasing the level of knowledge on water resources.
Upon completion of the course all of the students received certificates of participation.