WATER RESOURCES RESEARCH GRANT PROPOSAL
Title: Development of Youth Water Conservation Education Materials for Pennsylvania 4-H Programs
Focus Categories: WS, COV
Keywords: Water Demand, Conservation, Education
Duration: 1 April 1999 - 28 February 2000
Federal Funds Requested: $28,636
Non-Federal (Matching) Funds Pledged: $46,286
Principal Investigator: William E. Sharpe, The Pennsylvania State University
Congressional District: 5
Statement of Critical Regional or State Water Problems
Recent reports from the U.S. Geological Survey indicate that, despite gains in population, overall water use in the United States has declined since 1980. Much of the reduction in water use has been achieved in improved irrigation water efficiency, but, while domestic water use has not decreased it has not increased in proportion to population increases. These developments are quite surprising and may in part be attributable to vigorous water conservation programs begun by many states, river basin commissions and local jurisdictions in the 1970's.
One of the most highly visible programs has been that of the California Water Resources Agency which has for many years committed significant staffing and other resources to its water conservation program. Particularly noteworthy are the tremendous strides made by this agency in improving irrigation efficiencies. This program is continually being improved and expanded to involve more irrigators.
The foregoing is testimony to what can be accomplished by water conservation education and awareness programs. However, projections of future water use still forecast increasing demand and potentially severe regional water shortages. There is still a great need to improve water use efficiency through water conservation educational programs.
Statement of Results or Benefits
The proposed program will adapt existing youth water conservation education materials to be suitable for a 4H-youth audience. Where appropriate and necessary, new materials will be developed. These materials will be incorporated into Pennsylvania 4-H educational programs for use by 4-H leaders throughout the Commonwealth.
Nature, Scope and Objectives of the Information Dissemination Program
A thorough search of available water conservation information sources will be conducted to identify resources that may be used to develop youth water conservation education materials. Information thus obtained will be used as is, modified or deemed inappropriate for incorporation into the Pennsylvania 4H-youth program. Ultimately, a complete set of materials will be developed that will allow 4H-youth leaders to teach water conservation to youth enrolled in their programs.
The Extension system has offices in every county in the Commonwealth. Many of these offices have staff devoted to organizing and maintaining youth education programs. All counties have Extension-sponsored 4H-youth programs. The water conservation materials developed will be made available and incorporated into this network. In this manner, youth all over the State will become involved in learning about water conservation.
In addition to this focused effort on conservation education, the program will support a continuing information dissemination and technology transfer program via publication of a newsletter highlighting water center results; maintenance of information retrieval systems; publication of special reports on water research projects.