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Ibiza Education takes on Water Conservation

What does water conservation, Ibiza education and the United Nations have in common?

Twenty years ago, acutely aware of the importance of water conservation, the United Nations declared the first International World Water Day on 22nd March 1993.

Each year since, the UN has focused on a specific topic in the realms of water conservation, under the international umbrella of World Water Day and this year is to reference Water Cooperation.

To many, such a subject might seem far removed from life on Ibiza but for those versed in the real Ibiza, it is the opposite truth.

Ibiza is famed for her amazing weather but with such a massive increase in tourism on the island, it comes at a high cost. With only an average of 46 days of rain each year, culminating in an an average drizzle of just 439 millimetres or 17.3 inches of water a year, Ibiza is far from fresh water rich. The only river of Ibiza, Riu de Santa Eularia, ceased flowing long ago.

Historically, the issue hasn't needed a great deal of concern. Traditional houses were built to compensate, often with considerable water catchment facilities cleverly incorporated into the grounds - water conservation was an integral part of life.

However, with the rapid growth of urbanised areas and massive influx of tourists over the last few decades, water and its supply across the island has become a serious topic.

Ibiza Town, Santa Eularia and Sant Antonio now all have desalination plants to help remedy the strain of supply but in Santa Eularia, the school children are about to find themselves helping too.

This year, under what is generally referred to as "School Agenda 21", a new subject is being added to the children's curriculum. Focusing on installing a sense of respect and responsibility for environmental issues, the children will be taught about water conservation and usage.

Aquilia, the island water company, are collaborating on the project, providing all schools in the area with information to assist in water conservation awareness.

It is hoped the project will enable to schools to save up to 10% of their water and the financial saving will then be directed to other areas that require assistance.

Honouring the United Nations World Water Day, a meeting - the first of its kind for the students - will be held at the Congress Centre on 22nd March.

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