Classroom Materials

The educational materials available here can be used free of charge. These materials have been developed as accompaniments to the Chasing Water book. Teachers or professors may want to use these additional educational materials to help deepen student understanding of important concepts discussed in the book.

 


Sizing up your Water Footprint

This exercise is designed to increase student awareness of:

  • The myriad ways in which they depend upon fresh water in their daily lives
  • How much water is needed to support their lifestyle and well-being
  • The specific fresh water sources (rivers, lakes, or aquifers) that they depend upon
  • How their water dependencies may be affecting those fresh water sources (rivers, lakes, or aquifers).

This exercise helps students to understand that their water dependency isn’t limited to what comes out of their faucets or showers or goes down their toilet bowl.  Those uses of water are referred to as “direct uses,” and they usually account for only a small fraction of our total water dependency (also called our “water footprint”).   Virtually everything that we consume or use in our daily lives – food, clothing, furniture, computers, or automobiles – requires water in its production.  This is called “indirect” or “virtual” water use.

By working through this exercise, students will learn just how big their personal water footprint really is – accounting for both the direct water use part as well as the indirect or “virtual” part.


Rebalancing a Water Budget for Sustainability

This exercise is designed to increase student awareness of:

  • The concept of a “water budget” that describes the availability and use of water from a given water source
  • The options that are available for increasing water supplies or reducing water needs, based on the “water toolbox” discussed in the Chasing Water book.
  • The social difficulties inherent in developing a shared vision for water use among different groups of water users, e.g., city dwellers, farmers, corporations, energy producers, etc.

Sustainable Waters provides a global water education service by sharing accurate and up-to-date information about water scarcity, news of water shortages, and information and tools for solving water problems.

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Sustainable Waters provides a global water education service by sharing accurate and up-to-date information about water scarcity, news of water shortages, and information and tools for solving water problems.

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