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Posted April 22, 2014

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The “Wright” Water Conservation Efforts

A small group of students led by Rio Grande High School teacher John Wright presented their water conservation project at the annual Youth Conference on the Environment.

Students in the Agua es Vida program got their chance to show just what they have learned about water conservation at the annual Youth Conference on the Environment earlier this month. The one-day conference is for high school science students and environmental clubs interested in learning about environmental issues in New Mexico.

Around 150 students from area high schools attended the conference that is sponsored by Sandia National Labs and the Environmental Education Association of New Mexico.

Aqua es Vida, a program sponsored by Toyota Together Green by Audubon, provided leadership training for the students who conducted the water conservation workshop for their peers. John Wright, an English teacher at Rio Grande, runs the program and has seven students from his school and one student from South Valley Academy.

Students in the extracurricular program researched water history and current conditions on water quality and quantity, then explored conservation strategies such as rainwater harvesting and grey water use. Mr. Wright said the students are planning to do a complete water harvesting project at the end of the school year.

“Before this program I didn’t realize how threatened our water is from contamination,” said sophomore Karen Luna. “Spreading that message at the Youth Conference helped me feel that I could become a leader in that effort.”

Mr. Wright got a grant from Toyota Together Green by Audubon to fund the project. The grant provides money for educational materials, transportation and a small scholarship for the students.

Wright said he has worked on the project in collaboration with the Querencia Institute, an organization of educators and natural resource professionals who are concerned with expanding conservation efforts to youth.

Time and dedication on the part of this APS teacher has made a huge impact in the lives of these students. “Since I have been in this program I have learned to save water and my mother told me her water bill has been going down,” said Rio Grande freshman Ruby Caro.


The efforts of Caro and her fellow students are just one of the many ways that APS students are stepping outside the classroom to help make the world a better place.

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