The OCWA OneWater™ Education Program was born in 2014 out of a desire to strengthen and formalize our commitment to water literacy. Working with an enthusiastic team of educators and OCWA operators from several communities across Ontario, we developed materials for grade 8 students, where teachers were already focusing on water issues as part of the set-out curriculum.
The OCWA OneWater™ Education Program has three elements. The first is the teacher’s guide that provides a series of questions and activities focused on water. Each activity comes complete with a curriculum ‘connection’ so educators can easily view how the teaching relates to the curriculum set out by the Ministry of Education. The second element is a visit to the classroom by an OCWA operator and the third element is a leave-behind activity book for students to build on what they have learned through the first two elements.
The program is a work-in-progress and is being piloted in nine Ontario communities during this initial stage. With the appropriate feedback from educators, operators – and ultimately students – OCWA is planning on rolling out the OneWater™ Education Program more broadly across the province in the 2015-2016 school year. We look forward to educating future generations about the value of water and the water cycle!
Holy Name of Mary Catholic School, Almonte, ON
Bringing Science to Life
Teacher Sara Reid was pleased to welcome OCWA Operations Manager Robert (Bob) Leblanc to her classroom in November, 2014. Together using the OneWater™ materials, Sara and Bob created a classroom plan to provide additional real-world experience for the students as part of the grade 8 science curriculum on water. Bob explained the water and wastewater treatment in the Town of Almonte and the students were shown the steps involved in producing potable drinking water.
A wide range of topics on the earth’s water cycle were also discussed, including harmful bacteria found in untreated water, global water scarcity, and source water protection.
We’re All Responsible
The OneWater Education Program concluded with an OCWA handout, where students were provided with a take-home activity book highlighting the processes that had been discussed. Students were issued a challenge to take what they had learned about water and find creative ways to communicate their knowledge to their fellow students, friends, family or community.
School Appreciation Ceremony – June 22, 2015
As a special thank you to teacher Sara Reid and her students, OCWA held a brief appreciation ceremony at the school on Friday, June 19 where students were given water bottles and the school received a special plaque thanking them for their support. In attendance from OCWA were Operations Manager Bob Leblanc, and Senior Operations Manager Andy Trader. Councillor Jane Torrance was also at the ceremony on behalf of the Town of Almonte.
The Ontario Clean Water Agency (OCWA) is a provincial agency that operates and maintains over 800 municipal water and wastewater treatment facilities, more than any other operator in Canada. As water and wastewater professionals, our employees perform a vital service for their communities every day by providing clean safe drinking water and by ensuring that the water we treat and return to Ontario’s lakes and rivers meets the highest environmental standards.
Our commitment to providing clean safe water goes beyond our regular business activities. Beyond providing clean safe water, OCWA makes valuable contributions to Ontario by supporting numerous community and educational initiatives. We consider the social, environmental and economic impact of our activities, both as individuals and as an Agency and embed sustainability practices in our strategies and business objectives.