Tell a Teacher—OCWD Has Education Opportunities Beyond the Classroom

It’s hard to believe that another school year has begun. The Orange County Water District (OCWD), which manages the Orange County Groundwater Basin and operates the world’s largest advanced water purification facility, offers many free field trips and classroom programs to students and teachers (elementary through college).  We invite you to tell your local schools and teachers about these programs and how to apply.

Our newest is Next Generation Water Leaders for grades 6-12. Co-created by OCWD and Inside the Outdoors, this two-hour interactive session includes a presentation, lab activity, scavenger hunt in the H2O Learning Center, and brief tour of the Groundwater Replenishment System – the world’s largest advanced water recycling facility – located in Fountain Valley.  The year-round program is designed to inspire the next generation of water scientists, engineers, policy makers, environmentalists, and innovators.  Some bus funding is available.

OCWD’s educational hallmark is the Children’s Water Education Festival for grades 3-5. This annual event, soon to be celebrating its 24th year, is the largest of its kind in the nation. It will be offered with the option of March 25 or March 26, 2020. More than 7,000 students converge on the campus of UCI to participate in hands-on, structured lessons that support next generation science standards and are taught by more than 60 leading experts in numerous STEM fields.  The day-long field trip includes some subsidized bus funding and is co-sponsored by OCWD, the Disneyland Resort and the National Water Research Institute.  Registration for the 2020 Festival opens September 23 and fills quickly.

Students in grades 8 through college and adults can tour the world’s largest advanced water recycling plant year-round. The GWRS takes wastewater and purifies it to drinking water standards.  Guests can see the plant that holds a Guinness World Records™ title for the most wastewater recycled to drinking water in 24 hours. The GWRS has been featured on 60 Minutes and in National Geographic.  This comprehensive two-hour tour may be combined with tours of the Orange County Sanitation District’s sanitation plant, and/or other OCWD facilities.

The Groundwater Adventure Tour (GWAT) is an all-time favorite for ages 18+. This annual event is offered October 24, 2019. GWAT is an all-day tour of OCWD facilities, including the GWRS, Philip L. Anthony Water Quality Laboratory, H2O Learning Center, groundwater recharge basins in Anaheim, and Prado Wetlands in Riverside County.  This is a great way for educators to see first-hand how water works in Orange County.  Registration opens September 4 and spaces fill up quickly.

Finally, with the OC Water Hero smart phone app, elementary school students can play their way through the water system while learning important water facts along the way.  The app is available free through Google Play and the App Store.

For questions regarding these educational opportunities, please contact