Sustainability Education is Key to a Secure Water Future in the Western United States

By Deiadra Dissen Swartz.

Published by The Sustainability Collection

Format Price
Article: Print $US10.00
Article: Electronic $US5.00

Water sustainability is the great challenge facing communities worldwide. Water officials in the Western United States may understand the stark realities of water scarcity but the citizenry remains disengaged from the debate. While many districts struggle to meet the increasing demand for water, too little attention has been directed to water education. Without a proper understanding of water issues and sustainability, communities will remain inattentive to water use and ill-equipped to responsibly manage their own resources. In the Western U.S., there is not enough water to sustain the current lifestyle. The best method for fostering change in water behaviors is with the proposed water curriculum which makes wise water use and sustainability relevant to everyday life. Relevancy can be demonstrated with a shift to a more interactive water instruction paradigm that promotes dialogue and inspires action. The most attentive audience for this type of instruction will be school-age students. To motivate students, the enhanced water lesson should be integrated into the existing school curriculum with a multi-disciplinary approach that addresses current water problems, proposes solutions, and introduces water careers. Only an impassioned and informed public will aid in securing an ample and safe water supply for the future.

Keywords: Water, Western Water Crisis, Water Issues, Water Education, Sustainability, Sustain, Empower, Students, Water Curriculum, Water Plan, Water Conservation, Irvine Ranch Model, Water Policy, Water Use, New Paradigm, Virtual Water, Water Footprint, Transformation, Middle School, Colorado, Western United States, Sustainability Education

The International Journal of Environmental, Cultural, Economic and Social Sustainability, Volume 6, Issue 5, pp.227-240. Article: Print (Spiral Bound). Article: Electronic (PDF File; 619.339KB).

Dr. Deiadra Dissen Swartz

Water Official / Professor / Sustainability Professional, DeVry University, Englewood, CO, USA

Dr. Swartz is a lawyer, professor, professional speaker and writer; yet somehow she still finds time to be a single mom. Dr. Swartz earned her Bachelor of Arts degree from Newcomb College of Tulane University in 1986, and her Juris Doctorate degree from the University of Denver College of Law in 1989. Her vast and varied experiences in law, business, public office, and education have culminated in a passion for water sustainability which Dr. Swartz shares with Colorado students, U.S. water districts, and international audiences. When Dr. Swartz is not working within the law department of a global company or teaching at a national university, she must be working on water sustainability issues – which she describes as her most worthwhile hobby. Among her affiliations, Dr. Swartz is a member of the Universities Council on Water Resources and the Gender and Water Alliance; and she currently serves on the Board of Directors for Cherry Creek Project Water Authority.


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