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Free education and citizen science learning resources now available on Source to Tap legacy website

17 November 2022 15:53

 | NI Water News
As the five-year, cross-border Source to Tap project successfully concludes, teachers and educators are invited to download free resource materials to support their water learning programs and citizen science training at

Source to Tap was a €4.9 million collaborative, cross-border project, which explored sustainable, cost-effective catchment management measures designed to protect source drinking water catchments in the future. The project also trialled a range of innovative techniques from farm water protection measures to peat bog restoration at Tullychurry Forest County Fermanagh, as well as working successfully with local communities to educate them on the journey of water from source to tap.

Diane Foster, Source to Tap Project Manager commented: 

“Over the five years of the project, Source to Tap has helped educate 1947 school children in the River Derg and Erne catchment areas through school visits and online learning.

“I would encourage all teachers to avail of the excellent free-to-download educational materials now available on the website, which have been developed based on applied lessons, teacher, pupil and volunteer feedback.”

The Source to Tap education programme is aimed at children aged 10-11 but can also be used with younger and older children. Delivered under the theme of Learning for Water, these educational units have been specially developed with the support of the Speedwell Trust. They cover the Curriculum themes of ‘The World Around Us’ in Northern Ireland and Great Britain and Social Environmental and Scientific Education in Ireland. Topics also covered integrate with the Eco Schools (Northern Ireland) and Green Flag Ireland Programmes.

This free-to-use, 5-unit programme is packed with educational resources, activities and experiments. It is designed to help pupils learn and understand more about water’s journey from source to tap and how our water use impacts its quality along the way. 

Topics covered in the Source to Tap education programme include: 
Unit 1: Where does our water come from?
• how the water cycle works
• water as a natural resource
• vocabulary with important water cycle terms

Unit 2: How are rivers formed?
• the processes of erosion, transportation, and deposition
• the different River Stages and associated features at each stage
• how a rivers course changes as it moves downstream

Unit 3: What lives in our Rivers?
• what habitats are and how different creatures adapt to live in these places.
• food chains and food webs
• how plants, animals and other creatures depend on each other to make the river ecosystem function

Unit 4: How do Rivers get polluted?
• the causes of water pollution and how we can help to reduce it
• freshwater invertebrates as indicator species
• telling others of the negative impact pollution can have

Unit 5: How does water get from our rivers to our taps?
• the different processes involved in the treatment of water
• the various uses we have for water

For older children and adults of all ages, Source to Tap empowered communities to help detect pollution impacts on rivers and streams. Under the theme of Love Your Water, the project trained 43 volunteers in the Riverfly monitoring technique, encouraging citizen scientists to get involved in proactively protecting and improving water quality in source drinking water catchments.

Supported by The Riverfly Partnership, Source to Tap has now produced a range of free-to-download ‘How-to’ guides and a video to help plan and establish a Riverfly Monitoring Group, get people trained in the riverfly sampling methodology and set up a monitoring site network and report your results.

For more information about the Source to Tap project or to download any of the free resources, visit

Source To Tap was funded by the EU’s INTERREG VA programme managed by the Special EU Programmes Body (SEUPB) together with funding from the Department for Agriculture, Environment and Rural Affairs (DAERA) in Northern Ireland and the Department for Housing, Local Government and Heritage (DHLGH) in Ireland. The Source to Tap project partners are NI Water, Irish Water, Agri-Food & Bioscience Institute, The Rivers Trust, Ulster University and East border Region.

To find out more, the education and citizen science materials from the Source to Tap project, can be found at 

PRESS QUERIES – Please e-mail NI Water’s Press Office - 

In the last five years, the Source to Tap Project has delivered:
1. A €1.16 million investment in on-farm water protection measures on 118 farms in the River Derg catchment. This was delivered by creating a unique, cross-border, pilot Land Incentive Scheme, which has resulted in a marked reduction in the volume of the herbicide MCPA in this source drinking water river.
2. Cutting edge catchment-management science, leading to a new understanding of how the herbicide MCPA moves through and persists in the island of Ireland’s watery landscape. 
3. Restoration of over 20 hectares of peatbog that was previously planted with Lodgepole pine using various techniques, including a new method called cell bunding.
4. Design and trial of new, low-cost measures to further reduce the impact of forestry clear felling on sediment loss to nearby rivers and streams in shared source drinking water catchments.  

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