Monday, January 8, 2018

Water in California: Crucial Resource + a H2O Challenge #MomsMeet #Sponsored

This is a sponsored post written by me on behalf of Moms Meet
This page may contain affiliate links.

Water is important everywhere. But it's a crucial resource in California. In the past decade, there have only been two years for which we didn't fall under a "drought" designation. As the most populous state in the country and a major agricultural producer, lack of water can have severe economic and environmental impact.

In Our Schools
Due to its importance, studying water has been part of the boys' education almost everywhere. For R's 5th grade, all 50 kids selected a topic related to water and, after six weeks, they presented their topic during an evening symposium. R had interviewed local scientists and presented about the mechanics, benefits, and pitfalls of cloud seeding.

In R's 6th grade, they took part in The Tech Challenge through The Museum of Innovation in San Jose. They needed to design a device that could move a certain volume of water in a particular time frame. Their team, called The Test Tubes, won first place in their division for their engineering and design process. I loved that they were looking at ways to solve a real world problem.

And, then, when D was in 5th grade, the San Clemente Dam on the Carmel River was being demolished. So, they spent many field trips looking at the impact that would make on the environment and wildlife, specifically the steelhead trout. That was also the first year that the Carmel River made it to the ocean in years. We drove out to the lagoon to see it spilling out into the Pacific!

While this diverges slightly from my usual posts about cooking or culinary adventures, I think water is an important topic. It’s critical that all Californians conserve water to secure a reliable water supply for present and future generations. So, when Mom's Meet asked me to participate in this campaign - about water awareness and the announcement of a challenge - I was game.

The Cal Water H20 Challenge
The Cal Water H2O Challenge is a free program that teaches kids how to care for water and encourages them to be conscious with our state's water supply. This timely initiative is comprised of two different competitions: first, the Classroom Challenge and, second, the Individual Challenge.

The Classroom Challenge is a project-based, environmentally-focused competition for classrooms, grades 4-6. Aligned with the Common Core Standards for the state and complimenting the Next Generation Science Standards, the challenge was designed in conjunction with NAAEE, the WestEd K-12 Alliance, and Cal Water

A handbook can be found at, including a guide for the flow of the project, and sample lesson plans.

Upon completion of the project, students create a final portfolio documenting their work. This portfolio, along with accompanying cover sheets, student reflections, and a teacher reflection, constitute the final submission. Sample Portfolios can be found in the resource section.

Early Registration closes Dec. 31, 2017. Final Registration closes Jan 31, 2018. Submissions are due February 28, 2018.

Winners of the Cal Water H2O Classroom Challenge will receive...
Grand Prize Class Celebration: Classroom tent-camping trip to the Santa Monica Mountains with NatureBridge 
Class Funding: $3,500 grant 
Extras: Cal Water prize packs for every student

2nd Place Class Celebration: A Pizza Party 
Class Funding: $2,500 grant 
Extras: Cal Water prize packs for every student

3rd Place Class Funding: $2,000 grant 
Extras: Cal Water prize packs for every student

4th Place Class Funding: $1,000 grant 
Extras: Cal Water prize packs for every student

All Participant Prizes Student Recognition: An official certificate of participation for every student 
Teacher Recognition: A teacher certificate 
Teacher Gift: An AMEX gift card

Learn more online
Learn more about the challenge, access the resource center, and read the FAQ section at

The Individual Challenge is a competition in which individual students create and submit original artwork, photography, or videos focused on caring for water. This is open to students in grades 4 through 12 who live in a Cal Water service area.

Whether you can enter the challenge, or not, it's important to talk about water conservation with your family and friends. You can make big changes such as switching out all your toilets, showers, and faucets. You can remove your lawn to remove irrigation from your family's water usage. But, even small changes add up. Here are a few ways that my family has learned to conserve our water resources.

I reuse leftover water from cooking or steaming vegetables. You can use it to cook pasta or as the base of  soup.

I don't have a dishwasher. But when washing dishes by hand, don’t let the water run. I fill one side of the sink with water and biodegradable dish soap and the other side with rinse water.

When washing hands, we turn the water off while we lather.

And, if you garden or have house plants, collect the running water from your shower - while you wait for hot water -  and use it to water the plants.

Lastly, we keep showers under 5 minutes. Actually, D and I can keep it under 3 minutes, even when I shampoo my hair and shave my legs. But R and Jake need the full 5 minutes. I still haven't figured out what they are doing for those extra minutes!

How do you and your family help 
preserve your local water resources?
Disclosure: I am writing this post on behalf the Moms Meet program and the
May Media Group LLC. As a Moms Meet blogger, I may receive compensation for my time; my opinions do not necessarily reflect the opinions of May Media Group LLC.

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