Viewed from the space, the Earth is a beautiful blue planet, because 70% of the planet is covered by water, the source of life. However, only 2.5% of the water is fresh water usable by humans, of which an overwhelming proportion is stored in the icecaps of the planet’s two poles as well as underground. Therefore, only 0.3% of all fresh water is actually contained in lakes and rivers that we use in our everyday lives. The increasing population leads to the shortage of freshwater resources, making the sustainable development of water resources among the most pressing of global challenges today.
This study aims to make schools the environment for putting sustainable development of water resources into effect and educating students about the importance of this critical issue, and subsequently spreading the concept of cherishing water to families and communities.
Four schools, one for each classification of Taiwan’s educational system: an elementary school, a junior high school, a senior high school and a university, participated in this study. These four schools’ water consumption and points of water consumption were analyzed to obtain a clear picture of the water consumption status in schools, and then water consumption at each point was estimated to create the water balance diagram. The rationality of the schools’ water consumption at each point was reviewed. Based on each school’s water consumption at each point and characteristic of the point, issues such as water resources management, installation of water saving facilities, recycling of reclaimed water, treatment of wastewater, and water conservation education were all discussed. Recommendations for water conservation addressing each school’s problems were proposed to the water resources administrators or general services administrators, as well as outcome assessments after improvements. This study also investigated the critical role of schools in the sustainable development of water resources responding to decreasing human resources.