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Gilbert Children Investigate: Do Trees Really Sweat?

Post Date:12/13/2018 4:48 PM

Gilbert Kids - WaterI know, it’s a strange question. But the answer is even stranger: yes, trees do sweat. The technical term for tree sweat is transpiration, when water is pulled from roots to the leaves where it changes to water vapor and evaporates, and is an essential function for plants to live. In fact, it is because of transpiration that we have to water our plants, ensuring there is always enough water in the soil to allow for this process.

Unfortunately, most of us have a habit of overwatering our plants way too much, which unintentionally wastes water. In fact, due to overwatering, almost 70% of Gilbert’s drinking water is used outside – almost double the amount of water our landscapes actually need to be healthy and attractive!

But fear not, Gilbert Water Conservation has enlisted our brilliant 6th graders to help! In our free education program, Do Trees Really Sweat?, Gilbert students are learning the science behind plant transpiration and efficient watering so they can grow up giving their plants the right amount of water without wasting our most precious natural resource.  Teaching our students to apply scientific principles to calculate efficient watering schedules is one of the many efforts Gilbert is taking to protect our future water resources.

Gilbert Water 4th gradersOur 4th graders are pretty awesome too! In addition to working on water efficiency outside, we are also working to help our kids be efficient indoors with our FREE education program, Where’s Our Water? This 4th-grade program integrates the Water Cycle with a student-run scientific experiment to calculate the amount of water wasted from a simulated leaking faucet. Gilbert offers this program to 4th-grade classes to teach students about the importance of conserving water in the desert. 

These programs prepare students to understand the big picture: where our precious water comes from and where it goes! In our Gilbert’s Urban Water Cycle presentation, we tie it all together by building on the principles of the natural water cycle to interactively showcase how water is used and reused in our urban environment, making life in the desert possible.

For more information on Gilbert’s FREE Water Education programs, contact the Water Conservation office at Water.Conservation@gilbertaz.gov or 480-503-6098. You can also schedule a presentation online at Gilbert311!

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