Students Plan Ahead for Water Shortage
March 31, 2011
As the regional water project plods on through purgatorial deliberations, most recently facing questions raised regarding rate increases and financing, middle school students are innovating for a future in which the whole project doesn't make it off the ground. Two 8th graders, Brenda Melano and Lauren Mendoza of Santa Catalina School in Monterey, were honored at the Monterey County Science Fair March 26 with the first annual Water for Our Future award.
Melano and Mendoza's project, Irrigation: If well water was no longer available, what kind of water would be best for irrigating crops?, compared desalinated water, spring water and reclaimed water among other sources by irrigating small grass plots with each. They found reclaimed water provided not only the most productive grass crop, but also a cost effective water source, particularly when compared to desalinated seawater.
Dr. Carol Reeb, a researcher at Stanford's Hopkins Marine Station, created the award to "draw science-minded students into the increasingly important field of water resources." Presented by CSUMB's Watershed Institute, the $100 award was provided by two anonymous donors who are water professionals interested in bringing more young people to begin thinking seriously about our water resources, says Reeb.