Edible Aquifer – Winter Treat Edition

Presented by: Wascana & Upper Qu’Appelle Watersheds Association
Taking Responsibility (WUQWATR)

Materials Needed: (all ingredients can be substituted)

  • Clear Drinking Container
  • Mini Marshmallows
  • Chocolate Chips
  • Milk
  • Ice Cream or Whipped Cream
  • Hot Chocolate Powder
  • Crushed Candy Canes
  • Sprinkles
  • Hot Water
  • Straw
  1. Fill the clear drinking container about halfway with marshmallows & chocolate chips to represent rocks and gravel that lie toward the bottom of the aquifer.
  2. Pour in a small amount of milk until it is almost to the top of marshmallow layer without making it float. This represents the ground water.
  3. Add the ice cream or whipped cream and smooth it over the top of the marshmallow layer, making sure to go all the way to the edges and up the sides slightly to create an impermeable layer. This represents a clay or bedrock confining layer – known as an aquitard or aquiclude depending on its function.
  4. Add the hot chocolate powder (dirt) and crushed candy canes (grass) all over the top of the ice cream layer.
  5. Drill a well into the center of your aquifer using the straw, push it all the way to the bottom to get into the ground water. This will act as the pump to access the ground water.
  6. Take a sip or two from your aquifer and watch what happens to your ground water.
  7. Add some sprinkles to the top of your ‘grass’ layer to represent contaminants like pesticides or fertilizers or other human or animal activity.
  8. Recharge your aquifer by making it rain. Pour your hot water slowly over the top of your aquifer and watch the sides and bottom to see what happens. Can you see the ground water changing? What is happening with the contaminants and soil? Can you taste any of the contaminants when you take a sip through your straw? It probably tastes like chocolate, marshmallows, and peppermint, you probably even have some small pieces of your contaminants coming up through the straw. These are all reasons why our ground water is treated before consuming it at home.
  9. Once you’re done observing the changes to your aquifer, stir it up and enjoy your winter treat!