Navigate home logo
For over 25 years, we have been working with schools to empower future generations to become sustainability ambassadors.

Many of us look back at our school years fondly, as a carefree time to learn, grow, and play. And, as we know, they’re also some of our most important years, where we start to understand the world around us.

We recognise the importance of these years and through our statewide Waterwise Schools Program, we’ve taken a long-term approach to water education and behavioural change, educating students, their families, and the wider community about the need to value, protect and conserve our water resources.

The program has been operating for primary and secondary schools since 1995 and provides free curriculum-linked teaching resources, hands-on activities, school incursions and tours of water and water resource recovery facilities.

Through this holistic program, Western Australia’s next generation will be more aware of the need for the sustainable use of this precious resource, empowering them to provide valuable input for future community decisions.

A short history of the Waterwise Schools Program

The first school to be recognised as a Waterwise School was Hillarys Primary School in 1995 and, since then, nearly half of all schools across WA have joined them.

The program principles were firmly embedded from the start and remain the integral pillars of all we do today. This has meant being curriculum-focussed, easy to access and relevant and, for students, we of course need to be fun and engaging.

While the program's guiding principles are very much unchanged, the way we deliver our product has come a long way. In the past, our Education Officers were sent to schools armed with nothing more than a roll of posters, some blue tack and a bucketful of props.

How different our toolbox of resources is today.

We now need a specially designed van to transport our groundbreaking Waterwise Experience, we have a suite of refreshed water supply and water conservation incursions, a wealth of immersive online Walk with the Waugal resources and a dedicated team member to deliver our water in Aboriginal culture workshops.

Key Milestones

1995 – The Waterwise Schools Program first launched with educational packages for teachers.

1998 – City Beach and Swanview primary schools became WA's fourth and fifth recognised Waterwise schools, with 50 other schools working towards recognition.

1999 – The program won the Water Environment Merit Award from the Western Australian Branch of the Australian Water and Wastewater Association in March 1999 and went on to become runner-up in the association’s national award.

2000 – In June 2000, our Waterwise Schools Program won the Banksia Environmental Foundation’s national Education and Training Award, which is presented to organisations, businesses, schools or individuals for outstanding achievement in educating the community about environmental issues.

2002 – In June 2002, the Christmas Island District High School became the first non-mainland school to be recognised.

2003 – The program surpassed an important milestone of 100 schools recognised as Waterwise after meeting the required criteria.

2005 – A Waterwise Starters Package for schools was launched in October 2005 to provide a specific curriculum resource for kindergarten centres.

2011 – In May 2011, the 500th school joined the program.

2015 – We celebrated the 20th anniversary of the Waterwise Schools Program, and our inaugural school, Hillarys Primary School, was presented with the first 20-year recognition certificate.

2018 – Kep, the leak-detecting dog, was introduced to new Waterwise School assemblies. Since she arrived in Perth in February 2018, Kep has been busy visiting Waterwise Schools to spread the leak detection message. During school visits, students learn about how finding and fixing leaks early can avoid significant water wastage and see Kep in leak-detecting action with her handler.

2020/21 – The Waterwise Experience is launched, a new immersive approach to learning where we transport students with audio-led narratives using silent disco-like technology.