Kauai News

Fifth-Graders Enjoyed Make a Splash Water Education Festival in Līhuʻe

Posted September 17, 2022, 6:30 AM HST ·Updated September 16, 6:41 PM

The Make a Splash with Project WET Festival returned Sept. 15 to the Vidinha soccer field in Līhu’e after a 2-year postponement due to the pandemic.

A Kalaheo Elementary School student is careful not to spill water as she pours it into a bin in a relay race activity demonstrating the transportation of water from the water source to the home. Photo Credit: Kaua’i County Department of Water

More than 750 fifth-graders enjoyed the festival coordinated by the Kaua’i County Department of Water with the help of more than 175 volunteers.

“Together, we can lead the way towards improving our water future through the education of our students,” said Joe Tait, the Department of Water’s Manager and Chief Engineer.

Students from Wilcox Elementary School practice pumping groundwater from their table top aquifers during the “Just Understanding Groundwater” activity. Photo Courtesy: Kaua’i County Department of Water

This year’s neighbor island participation was the most that the event has received in 17 years. Volunteers representing five water agencies flew in from O’ahu, Moloka’i and the Big Island to join the water department and a team of water-related community partners on Kaua`i.

The WET in Project WET stands for Water Education Today. The festival featured activity stations that included a lecture and interactive component. This year’s water topics included groundwater, drinking water services, environmental and source water protection, watershed management, the water cycle, water properties, natural ecosystems, native species protection, marine animal rescue and understanding water droplets. New this year was an activity on reclaimed water.

“Water education continues to be a high priority for our outreach programs and the festival serves as the perfect opportunity to engage in discussions and offer direct lessons that teach students about a wide range of water topics that we encounter every day,” said Jonell Kaohelauli’i, the water department’s information and education specialist and coordinator of the festival.

“This is the first year the festival is featuring an activity about wastewater, proving that we have not yet reached the boundaries of this event,” she added.

For more information about the Make a Splash with Project WET Festival or Project WET Hawai’i, contact the Department of Water at 808-245-5461.

Sponsors of the 2022 Make a Splash with Project WET Festival: Aqua Engineers, Inc., American Water Works Association – Hawaii Section, Carollo Engineers, Inc., City & County of Honolulu – Storm Water Branch, Department of Land and Natural Resources– Aquatic Resources Kauai Branch, East & West Kaua`i Soil and Water Conservation Districts, Grove Farm Land Corporation, Hawaii Rural Water Association, National Oceanic & Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) – Marine Animal Rescue Program, Kapa’a High School JROTC cadet program, Kaua`i Board of Water Supply, Kaua`i Bus, Kaua`i Farm Bureau, Kauai Invasive Species Committee, Kodani and Associates Engineers, LLC., The Nature Conservancy, Uncle Tilo’s Clean Water, LLC., UH College of Tropical Agriculture and Human Resources (UH-CTAHR) Kauai Agricultural Research Center, DOW employees, family members and retirees.

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