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Kids get a lesson in the importance of water at festival at UCI

Thousands of Orange County third-, fourth- and fifth-graders poured into UC Irvine’s Aldrich Park on Wednesday for the first day of the 23rd annual Children’s Water Education Festival.

About 600 students from the Newport-Mesa Unified School District are expected to attend the free field trip, which continues Thursday, according to the Costa Mesa-based Mesa Water District, one of about 60 private and public organizations leading educational presentations for students.

During the two-day event, students can learn about the importance of California’s water supplies and how to protect them and the environment.

The festival is presented by the Fountain Valley-based Orange County Water District, the Disneyland Resort, the National Water Research Institute and the OCWD Groundwater Guardian Team.