When you ask students about conserving energy, they may mention actions such as turning off lights, turning off electronics, and driving less. Students are less aware of complex energy relationships, such as the relationship between energy and water use. In order to pump clean water into homes and businesses, we require energy for pumping and processing. The water-energy nexus, as it is called, is a term used to describe how our use of water is intimately connected to our use of energy. Conserving one—water—is also conserving the other—energy.

Watch this video of 4th and 5th grade students in San Diego, California—a working class community. The purpose of this classroom video is to hear students make connections between water and energy use.

For additional classroom context, video analysis, and reflection opportunities, read the Picture of Practice page for "Conserving Water, Conserving Energy" in the Energy Potential Environmental Literacy Teacher Guide, page 123.


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Jose Marcos-Iga, Ph.D. Natural Resources
Lindsey Mohan, Ph.D.
Ivan Salinas, B.S. Chemistry
Marcia S. Matz, M.A. Design
Rachel J. Fisher, M.S. Biology
Tania T. Hinojosa, M.Ed. Educational Technology
Nicole D. LaDue, M.A.T. Earth Science Education


Cindy Olson


Lindsey Mohan, Ph.D.
Kristen Dell, National Geographic Society
Chelsea Zillmer

Educator Reviewers

Catie Boarts, Heal the Bay
Rachel J. Fisher
Meghan E. Marrero, New York State Marine Education Association (NYSMEA)
Marcia S. Matz

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