Student Water Conservation Programs
York Children’s Water Festival
From May 16 to 18, 2023 the York Children’s Water Festival (YCWF) took place at Bruce’s Mill Conservation Area, providing a limited number of Grade 4 students, with all abilities, the opportunity to learn about water conservation through a variety of interactive, engaging, curriculum-linked activities.
Our aim is to help students understand the importance of a clean and plentiful water supply, respect a healthy environment and use natural resources wisely in their school, home and community.
To support festival learning and ongoing water education, the following resources are available through a virtual version of the festival.
Check back soon for more details about our 2024 in-person water festival.
The Virtual York Children’s Water Festival
The following educational resources are designed to encourage awareness of the importance of a clean and plentiful supply of drinking water and to foster respect for a healthy natural environment. Future generations will be empowered and motivated to educate others, become water stewards and commit to using natural resources wisely.
We hope you find value and inspiration in these activities, and they help create engaging conversations and learnings among students.
Go with the Flow: The Journey of Water
In York Region, water comes from three different sources depending on where you live, work or visit. About 90% of water is drawn from Lake Ontario, 7% from wells connected to the Oak Ridges Moraine and 3% from Lake Simcoe.
Discover where water comes from, how it gets to your school, home and community, and find out where wastewater goes.
- Canada Coast to Coast: Canadian Water Geography
- ClearWater Kids Learning Resources
- The Epic Journey of Water in York Region
- Water Cycles
- Water on Earth Poster
Raising Environmental Services - See a time lapse video of spray painting the York Region logo on the side of a water tank and raising the tank
Rain to Runoff: A Stormwater Story The Toronto and Region Conservation Authority show where rainwater goes
How much water is on earth? NASA Space Place shows how much water is on Earth
The basics of fresh water: Video Crash Course Kids explores facts about fresh water
Every Last Drop: Water Conservation
Water conservation means using water only when it’s needed, using less where possible and using it wisely. In fact, only 0.01% of all Earth’s water is suitable for human use. In Ontario, we are incredibly fortunate to enjoy an abundance of freshwater resources.
Because water is everywhere, we often think of it as limitless. However, there is a fixed amount constantly cycling through our natural and man-made environments. We borrow water from nature, treat it, use it and treat it again before returning it to the water cycle.
Learn more about how to conserve water with the following lesson plans and learning activities.
- How is Water Used?
- I Don’t Flush
- I Promise to Save Water
- My Water Diary
- Virtual Water
- Water Warrior Activity and Colouring Page
- A Day in the Water Life - Discover how much water you use in a day
- Outdoor Chore Tips - Be water smart with tips to save water outdoors
- Saving Water in your Bathroom - Be water smart with tips to save water in the bathroom
- Get Growing with Frankie Flowers - Learn about efficient ways to water your plants
- Microplastics (Suitable for grade 8) and Activity Sheet. Learn about microplastics in water from the Toronto and Region Conservation Authority
- Rainwater Harvesting and Activity Sheet. Learn about rainwater harvesting from the Toronto and Region Conservation Authority
Into the Wild: Wetlands and Habitats
York Region is surrounded by a variety of wetlands, watersheds and water-based habitats. Canadian wetlands are home to about 600 different kinds of plants, animals and insects.
Wetlands and swamps can clean water naturally, as water passes through the deep roots of plants causing soil, sediment and even chemicals to fall to the bottom. This leaves an abundance of cleaner water for animals to breed, nest and live. Learn more about our local wetlands and habitats in the following learning resources from the Lake Simcoe Region Conservation Authority and the Toronto and Region Conservation Authority.
A Sacred Element - Indigenous Resources
Learn about the importance of water conservation and protection, as well as the water cycle as told through an Indigenous perspective. These resources will help students consider the importance of water in their daily lives, what water protection means to them and how they can use local resources to help protect water.
Videos and Activities
The Importance of Water Book: The Water Walker Video and Activity Kit. Listen along to this book written by Joanne Robertson and learn about protecting the water on Earth. Explore the activities in the teacher resource guide.
Make a Splash: Activities, Games and Experiments
Using the information you have learned in the sections above, let’s get creative with activities, games and stories for all age groups.
- Water Crossword
- Water Warrior Activity and Colouring Page
- Water Word Scramble
- My Water Tower Colouring Page
- Water Cycle Game - Science World A fun and interactive version of Rock, Paper and Scissors that incorporates four different stages of the water cycle
- WUIW Tip Tank - Water themed matching game with trivia questions
- The WaterSense Video Game - Move the water-efficiency hero Flo through water pipes and answer water-efficiency questions while avoiding water-wasting monsters
The Water Challenge Video Series presented by ClearWater Kids
Join hosts Ava, Ben and their mascot Potato the Chicken as they solve mysteries of water and how it impacts our world.
- Earth’s Filter: Solve the mystery of how the earth filters water
- Rain is for Everyone: Solve the mystery of how to have fun on a rainy day
- Tap the Tap: Solve the mystery of why people in the future should stop using single-use water bottles
- Underground Water: Solve the mystery of underground water and discover the mysterious way it moves
- Water is Power: Solve the mystery of how water is used to make clean energy
- Water Shortage: Solve the mystery of not having enough drinking water
The resource links provided on this webpage are intended for education and informational purposes only. They have been created or are operated by independent bodies, and have been provided as a public service and do not imply the investigation or verification of these resource links. Although every attempt has been made to ensure their accuracy, The Regional Municipality of York makes no warranties or representations, expressed or implied, concerning the accuracy, reliability or completeness of the information, or the fitness of it for the intended purpose. Any use that any party other than The Regional Municipality of York makes of these resource links is done at the risk of, and is the sole responsibility of, that party.
Water and wastewater facility tours
York Region does not offer school tours of water or wastewater facilities due to health and safety concerns.
To reach the water education team please email @email