Submitted by WET Science Center

Have you tried to imagine how much water there is in the world? Do you know where the water in your faucet comes from? This week, you can discover amazing things about our precious resource, water, with the WET Science Center’s Rediscovering Science: Drop in a Bucket activities. The activities are best for K-sixth grade and can be done in your homes.

Less than 1 percent of the Earth’s water is clean and accessible. Photo courtesy: WET Science Center

There are 326 million trillion, or 326,000,000,000,000,000,000, gallons of water on earth according to CalTech scientists! But how much of that water is really useable? Most of the planet’s water, 97 percent in fact, is salt water. That means only 3 percent of all water is fresh water. A mere 1 percent of the fresh water is available for us to use. Think of it as a single drop of water in a bucket. Every time we turn on the faucet, we tap into that single drop.

To help you wrap your mind around 326 million trillion gallons, try the Featured Activity to visualize that drop in a bucket, the amount of water available to us. Anyone living in Thurston County who completes the activity will get a prize! Find more hands-on water activities on our Rediscovering Science page.

A Drop’s Journey

If you live in Thurston County, there’s a good chance your water starts underground, in an aquifer. After you use the water, it passes through the sewer system or into a septic tank. The wastewater is then treated to remove pollutants before being released back into the environment. Check out LOTT Clean Water Alliance’s wastewater treatment plant process for Lacey, Olympia, and Tumwater to learn more about what happens after water enters a sewer.

Activity Packets for You

There are activity packets available on the outdoor walkway at the WET Science Center Tuesdays and Thursdays from 1:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m. Packets feature our Rediscovering Science themes and are appropriate for K-sixth grade. Email us for other packet pick-up locations in the community.

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