Wednesday, May 28, 2014

It's Water-Wise Wednesday with Frannie the Fish! {The Water Cycle}

Frannie loves to learn, and today she wants to teach you what she has learned about the water cycle! Did you know that the water you drink is the same water dinosaurs drank millions of years ago? There's no new water! Water is continually moving through a cycle known as the Hydrologic or Water Cycle.
The Water Cycle is the path water takes through its various states - vapor, liquid, solid - as it moves throughout the oceans, atmosphere, groundwater, streams, etc. All water is connected!

Surface Water is water above the surface of the land including lakes, rivers, streams, ponds, floodwater, and runoff.
Evaporation is the conversion of a liquid (water) into a vapor (a gaseous state) usually through the application of heat energy (the sun) during the water cycle.
Condensation is the process in the water cycle by which a vapor becomes a liquid. Clouds are formed by condensation!
Precipitation is the part of the water cycle when water falls, in a liquid or solid state, from the atmosphere to Earth. Rain, snow, and sleet are all types of precipitation!
Runoff is precipitation that flows over land to surface streams, rivers, and lakes.
Recharge is water added to an aquifer. For example, when rainwater seeps into the ground. Recharge may occur artificially through injection wells or by spreading water over groundwater reservoirs.
Groundwater is water found in the spaces between soil particles and cracks in rocks underground.

Water continues to move through the different stages of the Water Cycle over and over and over again. It never stops! Have you been learning about the Water Cycle? Share what you know at!

Wednesday, May 21, 2014

It's Water-Wise Wednesday with Frannie the Fish! {Reusable Water Bottles}

Frannie knows how important it is to drink plenty of water throughout the day, but she also knows that using a reusable water bottle is better for the environment and our health than purchasing bottled water! That is why for this Water-Wise Wednesday, Frannie is going to go through her top 5 reasons for using a reusable water bottle. 

Top 5 Reasons for using a reusable water bottle:

1. It's EASY to use! Most places you go have water fountains where you can fill up your water bottle. 

2.  It is healthier to use bottles that are free from chemicals like BPA. {BPA is a chemical that can have possible health effects on your brain.  Plastics marked with recycle codes 3 and 7 may be made with BPA. Almost all reusable water bottles are BPA-free.}

3. Getting water from the tap is cheaper than buying bottled water.  Bottled water can cost up to 500 times more than tap water!

4. It saves water! Making new plastic bottles takes a LOT of water.  In fact, it takes more water to produce one plastic bottle than the water put into the bottle for drinking!

5. It's better for the environment.  Using reusable water bottles is better for the environment because it reduces your carbon footprint.  Producing new, disposable water bottles uses many fossil fuels and releases toxins into the air during production. 

Frannie also likes to make her tap water yummier! Sometimes she will let her water bottle chill in the fridge so it’s nice and cold.  It saves water since you don’t have to run the tap and wait for the water to get cold!

She also likes to add fruits or veggies to her water to give it a little extra taste.  One of Frannie’s favorite summer drinks is chilled water with cucumber slices.  It’s a healthy refreshing drink that will cool you off during those hot summer days! 

Do you have a water recipe you like to use? Share it with us at  

Wednesday, May 14, 2014

It's Water-Wise Wednesday with Frannie the Fish! {Using Environmentally Friendly Cleaning Products}

Frannie LOVES having a clean house, but she knows using all those chemical cleaning products is bad for her friends that live in rivers, streams, and lakes! Most chemicals are removed from the water by waste treatment facilities before the water is returned to the rivers, streams, and lakes, but certain chemicals found in cleaning products (like nitrogen, phosphorus, and ammonia) are not removed by the treatment process.  

That means when we rinse cleaning products down the drain or flush them down toilets, they are getting into our waterways and hurting the wildlife living there! These chemicals can also eventually get into our drinking water, making it unsafe for us to drink. 

This is why Frannie uses chemical-free cleaning products! You can buy these from the store or make your own.  Frannie likes to make her own because it saves money and is fun! 

Making your own cleaning products is really simple. Some common chemical-free ingredients include vinegar, lemon juice, olive oil, salt, essential oils, baking soda, and castile soap (made from 100 percent plant oils).

Today, Frannie is going to show you how to clean the drain of your kitchen sink using only vinegar and baking soda! 

 1. Pour 1/2 cup of baking soda into the drain.

2. Pour 1/2 cup of white vinegar down the drain. {Listen and look for the reaction that happens when vinegar and baking soda are mixed together! It will make a cool fizzing sound and bubbles will form!}

3. Wait 20-30 min. and then flush it with hot water. This should keep your drain clean and free from odor! 

Want more chemical-free ways to clean your house? There are many websites that offer step-by-step instructions on how to make your own environmentally friendly cleaning products! Here's one of Frannie's favorites:

Do you have a chemical-free cleaning method that you use at home? Share it with us at  

Wednesday, May 7, 2014

It's Water-Wise Wednesday with Frannie the Fish! {Picking up Trash}

This week was a special week for Frannie. Some of her Girl Scout friends came to visit her at the Groundwater Foundation office! Together, Frannie and the Girl Scouts spent time protecting the environment and our precious groundwater resources by picking up litter along a trail near Frannie's home.

Litter can leach into the soil and pollute our groundwater! Picking up litter and properly disposing of it can help protect our water resources.

Frannie and the Girl Scouts also discussed if the different pieces of litter they found could be reused, recycled, composted, or thrown away.

Here is how Frannie and the Girl Scouts classified some of the litter they picked-up:
A Wheel
Styrofoam Packaging
Hard Plastic Cup
Sidewalk Chalk
Plastic Water Bottle
Pop Can
Glass Bottle
Banana Peel
Cigarette Butts
Candy Wrapper

Frannie and the Girl Scouts also found some plastic grocery bags and medicine on the ground! These items need to be brought to a special location to be properly disposed. Plastic grocery bags are accepted at many grocery stores, and most Pharmacists will properly dispose of medicines for you.

To spread the word about how important it is to protect our groundwater resources, Frannie and the Girl Scouts finished their time together by making posters to share with others!
Do you want to help protect groundwater by picking up litter? Here are some important notes to remember:
  • Always wear gloves when you are picking up litter. Never touch litter with your bare hands.
  • If you would like to reuse a piece of litter, make sure to thoroughly clean it first.
  • Be safe! Always have a buddy and watch out for cars if you are near a road.
  • Most importantly - have fun!