Stevenage school students win water saving competition with innovative shower design

Students from Barnwell School with the deputy mayor of Welwyn and Hatfield, Councillor Barbara Fitzs

Students from Barnwell School with the deputy mayor of Welwyn and Hatfield, Councillor Barbara Fitzsimon. Picture: Jane Alexander Photography Affinity Water Challenge. - Credit: © J Alexander / Digital Nation

Students from a school in Stevenage have been crowned champions of Challenge Water 2018.

Barnwell School took 14 children to the final at the Fielder Centre in Hatfield, going head-to-head with four other school’s from across Hertfordshire to win the competition and £500 prize.

Challenge Water is a joint initiative from WaterAid and Infinity Water that pits schools against eachother as they try to develop real solutions to global water resource issues, starting with their own community.

The Barnwell team, cleverly named ‘Without a Drought’ designed a shower that slowly reduced pressure before turning off after five minutes to save water, warning users about time running out via a traffic light system.

Each school pitched their ideas to a panel of judges from across the water industry and the Deputy Mayor of Welwyn and Hatfield, Councillor Barbara Fitzsimon presented the teams with their awards.


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Stevenage MP Stephen McPartland visited the school and was impressed by their innovative design.

“I was delighted to listen to the practice presentation of the students and back them in the competition,” he said.

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“They had put a huge amount of effort into the project with their teacher Linda Butterfield and it really showed.

“I know they are over the moon about winning the trophy and £500 for their school and I am really proud of them.”

The design was inspired by research that showed 38% of students spent 16 minutes or more in the shower.

Water saving messages were put up around school on digital screens, a video messaged was shown in classes and a shower timer giveaway was held as part of the students campaign.

This resutled in 188 students pledging to take shorter showers, with 45% of students saying they now spend less time, saving an estimated 300 litres of water per student per week.

Speaking about the competition, Affinity Water CEO Pauline Walsh said: “The students involved have gained valuable industry experience, enhanced their employability skills and used their creativity to develop innovative solutions to save water.

“It is important to inspire young people to consider the range of opportunities that the water industry can offer.”

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