THE achievements of Carlow’s young water champions were celebrated this week at the annual Green-Schools Water Awards hosted by An Taisce Green-Schools and Irish Water.

Two Co Carlow schools took home top regional honours, excelling in the theme of water conservation.

In the water schools of the year, Gaelcholáiste Cheatharlach won the eastern and midlands region for secondary schools, while in the category of regional water ambassadors, St Leo’s College students Alannah Willoughby and Ancita Roney were named the eastern and midlands region winners.

The judges felt that Gaelcholáiste Cheatharlach’s just over 400 students and teachers had excellent levels of water awareness and have carried out all the essential actions, as well as finding out how water is used in the school, conducted surveys and questionnaires to measure water conservation awareness and carried out a clean-up along the river and canal.

The students also connected cable ties to their push taps to reduce flow and are now saving 1.1l of water for every push as well as installing a water butt to use for the school vegetable patch.

For their action day, they gave a presentation to fellow students about the water theme and water availability. The second-year students did a 6km walk for water and all students walked one lap of the running track carrying a five-litre bottle of water in solidarity with women and girls who must walk to collect drinking water daily.

Gaelcholáiste Cheatharlach continue to spread their green code message, which is ‘Bí cliste sábháil uisce’, meaning ‘Be clever save water’.

The country’s top water ambassadors were also honoured at the special ceremony, which took place in Dublin, including Alannah Willoughby and Ancita Roney of St Leo’s College.

Speaking at the awards, Geoffrey Bourke of Irish Water congratulated all the winners for their efforts to highlight the value of water.

We have seen how the younger generation has taken the lead in the battle against climate change. In the same spirit, the students and schools who have taken part in the Green-Schools Water Theme this year have shown exceptional leadership in inspiring their communities to value our precious water resources.”