One of my tasks at FoEME is to write a report on the “ecofacilities” piloted through the Good Water Neighbors youth project. These facilities serve to showcase water conservation and educate students and other community members. I spent yesterday in the beautiful (but hot!) Jordan Valley visiting several elementary schools.
A large component of the project is the use of recycled materials. I was especially impressed by the creative ways in which FoEME has converted tires into fencing, seating, planters and artwork.
The two main water conservation techniques employed are greywater recycling and rainwater harvesting. The greywater system uses excess water from wash basins in the school restrooms to irrigate native trees and plants. The water is filtered through recycled paint containers that are filled with gravel to remove solids, and then travels through drip irrigation tubing.
Water harvesting is even simpler: rainwater is collected from the rooftop through pipes that connect to water storage tanks.
Finally, artwork is used to educate students how to conserve water and why it is important to reduce our water footprint.