Tuesday, June 20, 2017

Advice from Owlie - #tiptuesday National Ice Cream Soda Day

Advice from Owlie

Q: Dear Owlie, 
When I went on a Water Discovery field trip to the Chino Creek Wetlands and Educational Park we made an Edible Aquifer. It was so much fun that I want to make one today in honor of National Ice Cream Soda day! Would you mind sharing the recipe with me, and explaining what an aquifer is again? I would greatly appreciate it! 

I Scream for Ice Cream 

A: Dear I Scream for Ice Cream,
I would be more than happy to help you out! Making an Edible Aquifer is one of my favorite activities during the Water Discovery Trips! First things first! An aquifer is underground layer of rocks and soil that hold water. Some aquifers can sit just a few feet underground, while others sit hundreds of feet underground! Before you do this activity, make sure you have your parent's permission and help!

The materials you need will be:

  • A clear cup 
  • Clear soda of choice
  • Cookie Crumbles
  • Gummy bears
  • Ice cream
  • Sprinkles
  • A drinking straw


1. Fill your cup with clear soda. This represents the groundwater. 
2. Cover the clear soda one-third of the way with cookie crumbles. This represents the layer of the sand, gravel, and rocks in the aquifer. 
3. Pour gummy bears into the cup. This represents the hard rocks. 
4. For the layer of clay or dense rock, called the confining layer, use one scoop of ice cream
5. Then, add a layer of cookie crumbles on top of the "clay" (ice cream), to represent the gravel and sand. 
6. Add sprinkles to the the top of this to represent the layer of soil, grass, fertilizers and pesticides. This layer also represents the pollutants that could harm our safe drinking water. 
7. Using your straw, drill a well into the center of your aquifer and push it down to the bottom of the cup. Try drinking the edible aquifer to see how difficult it can be for the water to move throughout a real aquifer.  
8. Add a little more clear soda to the top to represent rain fall that replenishes the aquifer.

And there you have it! An edible aquifer! 


Download the PDF here: http://www.ieua.org/wp-content/uploads/2017/06/Edible-Aquifer_IEUA.pdf

Tuesday, June 13, 2017

Advice from Owlie - Newest Water Conservator

Advice from Owlie

Q: Dear Owlie, 
I see that you are answering questions about wetlands. I am a new reader, and I want to know the basics. What exactly is a wetland, and what does it have to do with water efficiency? 

Newest Water Conservator 

A: Dear Newest Water Conservator:
I am so glad you asked! Many people seem to have the same question. A wetland is the intersection between water and land, and is considered to be one of the most productive ecosystems in the world. To be a wetland, an area must be soaked or filled with water part of the year. In some cases, some wetlands can be dry during different parts of the year. They also provide a habitat for various types of wildlife. Wetlands help with water efficiency by acting like a sponge during flood seasons, filtering pollutants from our water, helping clean our water, and absorbing wind and tidal forces. Here at the Chino Creek Wetlands and Educational park, we have six ponds that filter, and help clean, about a million gallons of water a day. That water will eventually make it out to Huntington beach! How cool is that?!

Hope that helped!

Your friend, 

Here is a picture from my trip when I went up the coast to Malibu Lagoon!

Tuesday, June 6, 2017

Advice from Owlie - Curious Outdoor Adventurer

Advice from Owlie

Q: Dear Owlie,

How are you? Where have you been?! It's June now, and I was wondering if you knew that it is Great Outdoors month? I was hoping you could share a summer climate wetlands fact with me?

Curious Outdoor Adventurer

A: Dear Curious Outdoor Adventurer,
I am doing great! After my hibernation during the winter months, I took a semester long trip with my Owl School to different wetlands around California.Yes, I do know that it is Great Outdoors month, and I am so excited to share my newfound knowledge with you! One interesting fact I learned about wetlands is that duckweed grows at the bottom of the pond during the colder months and rises to the top during warmer months. Duckweed is the result of the abundance of nutrients flowing throughout the pond, and provides food for our ducks. Pretty cool right?! More facts to come! Thanks again for your question!

Stay tuned!

Wednesday, February 8, 2017

Advice from Owlie - The Rain Wonderer

Advice from Owlie

Q: Dear Owlie, 
I have seen a lot of outreach that focuses on conserving water.  However, with all of the rains we have been having, is it still necessary to conserve?

The Rain Wonderer

A: Dear Rain Wonderer:
I am so glad to hear that you have been noticing messages that focus on the need to conserve water.  It is important for the community to pay attention to these types of messages and take action to protect our precious natural resource.  Although the rain does help the region with water supply, we need to make water-use efficiency a way of life.  Water-use efficiency means that we need to recognize our water supply conditions and be resourceful when utilizing this supply.  Our water supply conditions are uncertain, and as environmental stewards we must ALWAYS do our part to use water wisely and protect our water supply.


Tuesday, October 11, 2016

Advice from Owlie - Recent Water Saver

Advice from Owlie

Q: Dear Owlie, 
I'm fairly new to your column, but I'm already using some of your tips for saving water.  A few weeks ago, you wrote about some tips for saving water in the kitchen.  Do you have any more water-saving tips I can use in my kitchen?  
Recent Water Saver

A: Dear Recent Water Saver
Welcome to my column and thank you for using these water-saving tips.  Since the previous column entry, I have started using several new water-saving tips in my kitchen.  Specifically, when hand washing dishes, fill one sink with soapy water then quickly rinse dishes under a slow-moving stream from the faucet.  Other tips include soaking pots and pans instead of scraping with running water and defrosting food in the refrigerator or with the defrost setting on microwaves, instead of with running water.  These kitchen tips can help you reach your low water use goals.  To learn more water-saving tips, visit www.ieua.org.

Good luck with these new water-saving tips for your kitchen, 

Advice from Owlie - Water Wise Researcher

Advice from Owlie

Q: Dear Owlie, 
Since researching ways to conserve water, I have started to run out of indoor water-saving ideas.  Decreasing my water consumption has become a nonstop goal, and I need your help to continue saving water.  What are some indoor tips I can use to lower my water use?
Water Wise Researcher

A: Dear Water Wise Researcher
I am glad to hear that you've been researching water conservation tips.  There are plenty of tips to use from my weekly column, but I do have some additional indoor tips you  may use.  Indoor tips that can save water include taking showers as soon as other people are done, which reduces time spent waiting for water to get warm, reusing towels at home to reduce the amount of times you need to do laundry and using only one glass or reusable bottle per day for your drinking needs to reduce the amount of dirty dishes.  These tips combined can help you continue saving water.  Learn more tips to save water at www.ieua.org.

Good luck in putting these water-saving tips to use, 

Tuesday, October 4, 2016

Advice from Owlie

Advice from Owlie

Q: Dear Owlie, 
My brother and I have been reading your column for three months and have been using your tips around the house.  Since these tips have been decreasing my parents' water use, they've given us the task of looking for more water-saving tips to use around our house.  Do you have any tips for us to use to help our family save water?
Water Preserving Youngster

A: Dear Water Preserving Youngster
I am happy to hear that you have been helping your parents save water.  The tips that you and your brother have been using are already making a difference in your parents' water use.  There are other tips you can use to help, which include not pre-rinsing your dishes if your parents have a newer dishwasher, since the newer models clean dishes more efficiently and reusing water that has been used to steam vegetables and make pasta, which can be used to water house plants or act as a base for soup.  Be sure to visit www.ieua.org for more water-saving tips.

Good luck in using more water-saving tips to help your parents use less water,