Summer is winding down and that means two things here in the Borderland—school is back in session and the Water Festival is fast approaching.
These two things are reason enough for El Paso Water to talk about its August 20 Water Festival at the TecH2O Center and spotlight educators who have placed high emphasis on conservation.
The August 20 event at TecH2O, located at 10751 Montana Ave. will be from 9 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. Now in its 17 th year, the Water Festival is a free event where children and adults of all ages can learn about the water cycle, water conservation, and about where a desert city like El Paso gets its water.
“The Water Festival has been centered on encouraging people to learn about water resources,” said El Paso Water Conservation Manager Anai Padilla. “With our students going back to school, it makes sense to use this year’s festival as an opportunity to promote water conservation and recognize teachers who have helped us drive this message to them.”
As TecH2O readies for the festival, Padilla and El Paso Water staff wanted to recognize Guadalupe Tapia, health science teacher at Silva Health Magnet High School.
With 13 years of teaching under her belt and more than two decades of experience in the health care field, Tapia places a high value on teaching water conservation.
Through her Community Health Rotation class at Silva Magnet, Tapia encourages her students to become familiar with community issues, such as drought, water needs and conservation. In past years, Tapia has taken her students to the TecH2O to broaden their knowledge on these topics.
“My goal again is for them is to be aware of the city needs, and hopefully for them to become the problem solvers in the future,” Tapia said. The veteran teacher added that part of that instruction includes teaching students about the growing demand for water and how that will affect El Paso’s future.
“Personally, I am concerned about water consumption and preservation. I want the students at Silva Health Magnet to be aware of steps and procedures to preserve this precious element,” Tapia said.
Tapia said that each afternoon her daughter brought home conservation knowledge and useful takeaways.
This led to a family affair of volunteering at TecH2O and other community events. Now, Tapia is a strong advocate for conservation, urging her students and others to be mindful stewards.
She added that, while her students are always receptive and mindful of conservation lessons, one of the greatest challenges is debunking the notion that “we will never run out of water.”
“The second (challenge) is to break water waste habits and instill water conservation actions starting in the home,” Tapia said about reaching out to students. “Having information that is accessible, bilingual, and with examples that they can relate to is essential, so that they can be the water conservation ambassadors in their homes. It is important to make all citizens aware about water usage and water waste.”