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Blog Tour & Giveaway!
Welcome to the blog tour for Water! Why Every Drop Counts and How You Can Start Making Waves to Protect It. Did you know the water in your glass could be the same water the dinosaurs drank? Dive in for a week’s worth of interviews with fascinating “Water Warriors”, profiles on the latest H20-saving tech and learn incredible facts about Earth’s water, the challenges facing it, and how your actions can help defend this precious resource.
Inventing News Ways to Conserve
A Q & A with “Water Warriors” Calden Gounden and Kairan Chetty
The Stockholm Junior Water Prize is a prestigious youth award for a water-related science project. In 2019, Calden Gounden, 18, and Kairan Chetty, 18, were finalists in the competition. The teens traveled from their homes in South Africa to Sweden to demonstrate the water saving device they invented together, the Hydro Conservator.
At their school, part of the day is devoted to “guidance lessons,” a time when students can have informal discussions with their teachers. During one of these chats, Calden and Kairan’s teacher, Mr. Denli, brought up how water was becoming a scarce resource for many people and the importance of water conservation.
This got Kairan and Calden thinking. One morning, Calden noticed how much water flowed from the faucet while he was brushing his teeth. Similarly, as Kairan waited for the water in his shower to turn from cold to hot, he watched as the wasted water flowed down the drain.
They decided to put their heads together and work as a team to invent a device that would help reduce wasted water from bathroom showers and sinks.
The first part of the device is a three-way shower valve that conserves the cool water that would normally be wasted while someone waits for the water to get warm. This water is then heated, after which a valve opens, allowing it to flow out. The second part of the Hydro Conservator is a more affordable version of an automatic faucet that dispenses water only when your hand or toothbrush is underneath it.
“The automated tap has a sensor to reduce the amount of water wasted,” Calden says, “as often people leave the tap open whilst brushing their teeth, just like I did. Although there are automatic taps in use, they can be quite expensive, and we got it to be more cost effective by exploring cheaper parts.”
Here, Calden and Kairan talk more about why water conservation is so important—and their plans for changing the world.
Q: How did you develop the technology that you used for the Hydro Conservator?
Kairan: Once we fully identified what we wanted to achieve, it was a matter of finding the simplest combination of computer/microcontroller and electronic valves to build the proto‑ type. We had much heartache and many setbacks. In fact, we blew up two Raspberry Pi’s [a single-board computer], which actually worked in our favor, as we settled on a more cost-effective microcontroller. Then we had to develop the code to make everything work smoothly and control the relays to switch stuff off and on at the right times. We learned so much about what it takes to be an inventor.
Q: Why do you think it is important for people to conserve water?
Kairan: If we continue to waste and pollute the water we have, first, it will become scarce and expensive. Next, it will create conflict as each country tries to secure water for its citizens. This is not something we can leave for tomorrow; it is something we need to do right now. We did a brief assessment of the Hydro Conservator and found it has the potential to conserve more than 16 billion liters [4 billion gallons] of water per day in households that employ taps and showers throughout the world.
Q: What did you learn about yourselves and about water conservation during the process of creating the Hydro Conservator?
Calden: I have learned that if you put your mind to something, you can really create something amazing and also that hard work does pay off. I also learned that I am resilient and have the ability to make a difference. I learned that we need to collaborate across the world to share ideas and gain more insight into what we can do to conserve water—we are not alone. And I have learned that across the world, people waste large amounts of water and there is a lack of conservation and awareness, which is depleting our current limited water supply rapidly.
Kairan: I am determined more than ever to make a difference. I love looking at aspects of everyday life to see how they can be improved, and I will devote whatever skills I acquire to invent things to make the world a better place. Like every journey starts with a single step in the right direction, the Hydro Conservator for me is my first step.
Q: What would your advice be to other young people who would like to help create solutions to some of the environmental issues facing us today?
Kairan: It is important that you not leave your destiny in anyone else’s hands. Do not fear failure; it is a good way to learn new things. Be inquisitive and ask questions. Pursue your ideas with real energy. Research, dis‑ cuss, and build prototypes. Never be afraid to embrace differing points of view; readily collaborate to achieve success. Who knows? You may be sitting on an idea that is the next big invention, on the same scale as the wheel.
Calden: Look around you daily and find things you relate to, no matter where you live and your circum‑ stances. Find problems where you come from and that will help you to find the solutions needed. No idea is silly; we all can make a difference.
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About Water! Why Every Drop Counts and
How You Can Start Making Waves to Protect It
(ages 8-12, Paperback, National Geographic Kids Books)
Did you know the water in your glass could be the same water the dinosaurs drank? Discover more incredible facts about Earth’s water, the challenges facing it, and how your actions can help defend this precious resource.
No doubt about it, water is fascinating. It’s also essential. But our planet is facing some serious water problems: Drinkable water isn’t easily accessible to everyone, the demands for water around the globe are increasing while the supply is limited, and some human actions are causing disastrous ripple effects downstream for ecosystems and the animals that live in them.
Fortunately, there is hope! And that’s where this book comes in. By learning the ins and outs of important water issues and making small but powerful changes in our daily life, we can help protect the water that connects us all on our beautiful blue planet.
· What kids can do right now to combat climate change
· How to make a water filter at home and other fun activities
· How small changes in your daily routine can equal big water savings
· Q&A’s with “Water Warriors” from around the world
· Special reports on “pulled-from-the-headlines” events that have recently impacted water and water supply, like the impact of war on water supply, the socio-economic implications of the water issues in Flint, MI, and how the residents of Cape Town South Africa pulled together to avoid “Day Zero.”
Water! is a fascinating look at Earth’s water and a call to action to young readers to help safeguard it.
About the Author:
Lisa M. Gerry is a writer and reporter who began her career as an intern at National Geographic Traveler magazine. She has since authored numerous books for National Geographic Kids, including Puppy Love and several installments of the 100 Things to . . . series. She has also worked as a writer for Time, Forbes, and Business Insider.
About the Expert Contributor:
DR. SANDRA POSTEL (expert contributor) directs the Global Water Policy Project and is a National Geographic Explorer. She is a frequent lecturer, author, and consultant on global water issues, and in 2021, she won the prestigious Stockholm Water Prize, often described as the Nobel Prize for water. She is the author of Replenish: The Virtuous Cycle of Water and Prosperity;Pillar of Sand: Can the Irrigation Miracle Last?; and Last Oasis: Facing Water Scarcity, which appears in eight languages and was the basis for a PBS documentary.
- One (1) winner will receive a copy of Water!
- US/Can only
- Ends 5/7 at 11:59 pm ET
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- Visit the other stops on the tour for more chances to win!
Blog Tour Schedule:
April 24th — YA Book Nerd
April 25th — Chat With Vera
April 26th – Always in the Middle
April 27th — YA Books Central
April 28th — Pragmatic Mom
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There was a conserve water campaign in Ireland last year which said ‘Water just doesn’t fall from the sky’. We all laughed because it literally does and copiously in Ireland. Of course, the point was around the water supply, which we need to conserve even though we get lots of rain. Many countries don’t get our rainfall so it’s a huge problem for them. Very impressed by the inventions of Calden and Kairan, very clever and yet so simple. Thanks for sharing!