Thames Water Water Efficiency in School’s Programme ran over five years in schools across London. It comprised:

 Free fun and informative water workshops for school pupils (Key Stages 1 – 4)

  • Free water audit for schools
  • Free benchmarking report for the school to determine whether the school is currently water efficient or not
  • Free water efficiency upgrades up to £500 in value to save the school water and money

Working in partnership with Thames Water, ech2o successfully delivered “Be Water Aware” assemblies and workshops to over 26,080 pupils and 1,286 teachers in 101 schools over the five years. We worked in-depth with 13,168 pupils across all key stages, delivering a series of different workshop choices about using water sustainably. Thames Water realised that, as well as helping schools to save money by retrofitting water efficiency devices and identifying leaks, it was also important to teach pupils about why we all need to save water. This was a package programme, so schools needed to sign up to the free water workshops to be eligible for the water efficiency upgrades.

There were five phases of WESP. ech2o visited 12 primary schools and 4 secondary schools predominantly across Enfield, Hammersmith, Hackney, Haringey and Waltham Forest. Pupils and teachers thoroughly enjoyed the workshops and significant water savings were reported in the majority of the schools. Schools chose between a series of different workshops.

Water workshops

We worked with the pupils to enable them to:

  • become more water aware
  • know how much water their schools used
  • understand the environmental cost of water and its link to CO2 emissions
  • recognise what they could do to reduce their water use both at school and at home
  • meet the challenge to create a water aware school
  • understand how small changes by all pupils add up to a huge amount of water savings

“We achieved a more sustainable water culture among the pupils and a step change in behaviour that saved considerable amounts of water both at school and at home.” – Cath Hassell, Director at ech2o

 How it worked

  1. Schools signed up to the water workshops by contacting us at ech2o via
  2. We contacted Thames Water to arrange the audit and the water efficiency upgrades.
  3. The school received a useful water audit, great water efficiency upgrades, and fun and informative water workshops!

School feedback

It was great to receive feedback from teachers, pupils and parents each year.

Great workshop. Pictures on interactive white board helped. Interactive with questions and actions which involved the pupils. Great resources left with teachers to give out (to send message home) and to use further in lessons and support the learning in class – Thank you!” (Teacher)

The feedback from our daughter was glowingly positive, she was hugely enthused by it and she clearly picked up a lot from it. She really does take a lot more care with water now, time spent in the shower, etc. And so far it has stuck, so you and Trevon changed her thinking“. (Parent)

Thames Water’s WESP was a brilliant project to be involved in and we are proud to have been part of such a ground breaking initiative that benefitted so many schools and pupils. Every pupil received their own shower timer to take home which reinforced the message of how important it is to be water smart to other family members.

We continue to offer all of these different water workshops with schools and we are constantly researching funding opportunities. Workshops start from as little as £100 for a group of 30 pupils, or a full day working with a range of year groups from £400 for the day and include all resources needed.

Available Workshops
  • It’s raining in the zoo and Frankie the flamingo thinks she is sinking! So she sets off on a mission to find out why. Using the story of an inquisitive flamingo, a determined dragonfly and a crab who doesn’t like poo on his head, pupils discover why it is important to save water and the best way to do so.
  • This story is an uncomplicated, entertaining and educational way to engage Key Stage 1 pupils on the topic of saving water.
  • All pupils get two badges and a shower timer.
  • Each class will receive three copies of the book ‘The mysterious case of the sinking flamingo’ and a DVD.

Lesson time: 40 minutes

The mysterious case of the sinking flamingo (KS1)

ech2o will work with the school eco team or green team to:

  • carry out a water audit of the school to find out where the school is ‘water smart’ and where it is ‘water silly’,
  • identify where and how the school could save water,
  • discover whether the school uses rainwater and if not, where it could
  • deliver an assembly to explain what they found out
  • set the four minute shower challenge for all pupils

All pupils in the school receive a shower timer.

Lesson time: 90 – 120 minutes, plus 30 minutes before assembly



Make your school water smart (KS1,2)

ech2o will work with a set of pupils to enable them to:

  • collect data about their use of water at home
  • work out where they are water smart and where they are water silly
  • identify whether they have a dual flush or single flush toilet and how a toilet works
  • find out the best behavioural changes to reduce their family’s water footprint.

Pupils get a shower (or bath) timer, water trump cards and badges.

Lesson time: 60-75 minutes

Be a Water Detective! (KS2)

cath-and-see-though-cisternThis is a fun and informative short workshop using ech2o’s see-through toilet cistern to:

  • give a brief history of the WC,
  • explain why the toilet has its very own day in the calendar – 19th of November, World Toilet Day,
  • remind pupils how lucky we are in the West to have them in our homes and schools, and what in would be like if we had to use a public toilet,
  • demonstrate the  bits of kit that have been invented to make them work even more efficiently.

Pupils who don’t have a dual flush receive a free save-a-flush bag to fit in their WCs at home saving on average 5000 litres of water per family per year.

Can be delivered on its own but usually combined with ‘Be a water detective!’

How much does it cost to flush your toilet? (KS2)

clarence for website poss 1A workshop for pupils in Years 3 and 4 that builds on the story of Clarence, one of the stars of ‘The mysterious case of the sinking flamingo’, a crab who doesn’t like poo on his head. Pupils learn why and when this still happens in the UK, and the simple things that can be done to prevent it. Can include a walk around the school grounds to see if space can be found for a rain garden.

Each class will receive three copies of the book ‘The mysterious case of the sinking flamingo’ and a DVD. All pupils receive a shower timer.

Lesson time: 60 minutes

#pooonyourhead (KS2)

TW WESP Sec schools 2ech2o will work with the school eco team or green team to:

  • carry out a water audit of the school,
  • identify where and how the school could save water,
  • benchmark the school’s water use,
  • design a strategy to reduce water use across the whole school community,
  • identify solutions to reduce rainwater run-off from the school premises,
  • deliver an assembly to report their findings,
  • set the four minute shower challenge for all pupils.

All pupils receive a shower timer.



Make your school water smart – design a sustainable water strategy for your school (KS3,4)

This workshop builds on the student’s knowledge of the hydrological cycle and the causes of global warming. Pupil’s learn:

    • why the UK is under water stress, and the effect on resource management and supply and demand security for water supply,
    • about the environmental implications of water and sewage treatment in the UK,
    • how sustainable drainage solutions and water efficiency strategies link into the UK’s environmental goals,
    • the link between hot water and increased CO2 emissions and how personal water choices impact on climate change,
    • the three P’s

Initially designed and delivered for Year 10 GCSE Geography students, it has also been adapted in a simpler form for Year 8 and Year 9 students. All pupils receive a shower timer.

A sustainable water cycle (KS3,4)

TW WESP is your shower killing the polar bears slide

  • Pupils learn about the environmental implications of their water use and the link to CO2 emissions.
  • Pupils record their water habits and discuss what would motivate them to shower for less time.
  • Pupils decide how they can inspire their friends to do the same.
  • Workshop has been delivered in various formats including a classroom workshop to Year 11’s, as part of a PSHE immersion day and as a lunchtime stand with the school leadership team, on a whole school science and engineering immersion day.

All pupils receive a shower timer.

Is your shower killing the polar bears? (KS3,4)
  • ech2o challenges the pupils to design a piece of kit or an advertising campaign that will reduce the amount of time people spend in the shower.
  • ech2o work with the pupils as they:
  • carry out market research to identify the class’s shower usage: good, average, bad, excessive
  • develop an understanding of the link between hot water use and climate change
  • brainstorm technological and behaviour change solutions to reduce shower use and present to focus group of other pupils
  • develop one or more of the solutions into a workable format
  • Usually delivered as a double lesson. Chosen by one school as a full day workshop for Year 7 Design and Technology pupils as part of their term project.

All pupils receive a shower timer.

Take a look at some of the designs pupils created to encourage people to shower shorter here.

Shower shorter, shower smarter (KS3,4)

Resources for the school
  • We are aware that different schools have different requirements and aim to be as flexible as possible to fit in with their preferences. We work with one particular year group or across year groups, with whole classes or small groups, depending on the schools requirements.
  • We work with pupils of all ages from reception class through to sixth form and all years in between. We ensure that the delivery style and information is age appropriate, although the topic (sustainable water) remains the same.
  • All handouts and PowerPoint presentations are left with the school.

More Information

Please contact Cath Hassell or Tahirah Sahrif if you have any questions, would like more details about the workshops or would like to sign up.


Telephone         020 7183 1908

We look forward to working with your pupils soon.

Thames Water’s Water Efficiency in School’s Programme (WESP)