University of Washington

LIQUID PLANET: Exploring Global Water Issues

Global Water Resources for the Classroom

Water Footprint Calculator - Your individual water footprint is equal to the water required to produce the goods and services consumed by you. Please take your time and feel free to use the extended water footprint calculator to assess your own unique water footprint. The calculations are based on the water requirements per unit of product as in your country of residence.

Water Use Graphics - The United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) has compiled this report in order to provide an easily accessible resource on the state of the world's waters. The goal of this publication is to produce a clear overview, through a set of graphics, maps and other illustrations, of the state of the world's fresh and marine waters. It also illustrates the causes, effects, trends and threats facing our water sources, with examples of areas of major concern and future scenarios for the use and management of fresh, coastal and marine waters.

United Nations Works for People and the Planet - UN Works is an innovative multimedia platform that puts a human face on the work of the UN by exploring global issues through the personal stories of people and their communities. Our goal is to give a voice to ordinary men, women and children and allow them to share their struggles and fears; hopes and aspirations with audiences around the world.

UN Water - The world’s 263 transboundary lake and river basins include the territory of 145 countries and cover nearly half of the Earth’s land surface. Great reservoirs of freshwater also move silently below our borders in underground aquifers.With every country seeking to satisfy its water needs from limited water resources, some foresee a future filled with conflict. But history shows that cooperation, not conflict, is the most common response to transboundary water management issues.

Water for Life - As water quality degrades or the quantity available has to meet rising demands over time, competition among water users intensifies. This is nowhere more destabilizing than in river basins that cross political boundaries. But experience shows that in many situations, rather than causing open conflict, the need for water sharing can generate unexpected cooperation.

UNESCO - Based on the challenge areas that structure the United Nations World Water Development Report (WWDR), these fact sheets present data and figures extracted from WWDR1 and WWDR2, for easy access and information.

WaterPartners International is a U.S.-based nonprofit organization committed exclusively to providing safe drinking water and sanitation to people in developing countries. Since its inception in 1990, WaterPartners has transformed thousands of lives with access to safe water and sanitation in eight countries - Bangladesh, El Salvador, Ethiopia, Honduras, Guatemala, India, Kenya, and the Philippines.

Water for People – Water For People helps people in developing countries improve their quality of life by supporting the development of locally sustainable drinking water resources, sanitation facilities and health and hygiene education. Includes videos and interactive games.

Teach UNICEF: Water and Sanitation for All is a unit of three lessons designed to: Raise awareness of the problems facing children with inadequate access to clean water or sanitation facilities; Increase students' understanding of the issue as one that affects them as well; Explore how organizations, agencies and individuals are working to address the problems; and Encourage students to take their own steps in addressing the local and global issues of water and sanitation.

Oxfam Education - An interactive resource featuring stunning color photos to help you teach about water and its significance. Includes classroom activities, case studies, quizzes and whiteboard activities for exploring the importance of water, water shortages, and ideas for positive action. In addition, there are photo case studies about water from Senegal, Cambodia, Uganda, East Timor, Ghana, Burkina Faso and Switzerland. Useful for teaching Geography, English, Maths, Science and Citizenship to students aged 9–13.

World Health Organization – Features information about water and health guidelines and projects around the world.

Blue Planet Run The Book - Blue Planet Run provides readers with an extraordinary look at the water problems facing humanity and some of the hopeful solutions being pursued. By the end of the book, readers are left to form their own conclusions as to whether the human race is capable of taking the steps necessary to solve this global crisis before it’s too late. Features great photos and graphics available in a free pdf download.

CyberSchoolBus – a UN resource for students to learn about the Millennium Development Goals. Includes activities on monitoring the goals.

Student Voices Against Poverty - The Millennium Campaign Curriculum Project
Lesson Plans and Resources Manual for Teachers

Facing the Future's Resources for Educators on Water Security

Water 1st Resources for Students – Water 1st has a unique program designed specifically for schools and young people. A team of volunteers and students from the University of Washington developed a Water 1st curriculum—a DVD/film and presentation, classroom discussion, and various writing, arts, math, and science activities. Students learn about the global water crisis and Water 1st’s response in holistic, integrative ways.

Worldmapper: A collection of world maps, where territories are re-sized on each map according to the subject of interest. There are now nearly 600 maps.

Water terminology glossary - Here's a list of water-related terms that might help you understand our site better. It is compiled from a number of sources and should not be considered an "official" U.S. Geological Survey water glossary. A detailed water glossary is kept by the Water Quality Association.

MGD Monitor: The MDG Monitor is designed as a one-stop-shop for information on progress towards the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), globally and at the country level. It is intended as a tool for policymakers, development practitioners, journalists, students and others interested in learning about the Goals and tracking progress toward them.

National Environmental Education Week (water):

Water on the Web - Water on the Web (WOW) helps college and high school students understand and solve real-world environmental problems using advanced technology. WOW is a complete package containing two sets of curricula, data from many lakes and rivers nationwide, extensive online primers, data interpretation and Geographic Information System Tools, and additional supporting materials.

PBS – Journey to Planet Earth - Topics touched upon in this program include flooding, loss of wetlands and habitat, destruction of the Amazon rain forest, over fishing, and the impact of economic development on water resources. The Rivers of Destiny Lesson Plan explores each of these issues in more detail.

PBS - Global Connections – Got Water? Fresh water is a limited natural resource. Communities throughout the world are faced with the same question: Is there enough water to support local industry, agriculture, and human consumption? - a knowledge map and on-line collaboration platform for Water Sector Professionals and Practitioners worldwide, to find - and share - experience and knowledge about water-related work in the international (UN) context.

The European Environment Agency (EEA) is an agency of the European Union. Our task is to provide sound, independent information on the environment. We are a major information source for those involved in developing, adopting, implementing and evaluating environmental policy, and also the general public. Currently, the EEA has 32 member countries.

Video and Radio Resources

PBS – Leasing the Rain - There are certain facts about U.S. and international freshwater that everyone should know. According to the World Health Organization, by 2025 the world's population will have increased by 30% and access to safe drinking water will be greatly reduced. As water experts remind us, freshwater is a finite resource — there's the same amount of water available now as there was when the earth was formed. What are the consequences of treating life-sustaining water as just another commodity to be bought and sold to the highest bidder?

CBC Radio – The Current: Watershed: We have kicked off the Fall with a season long series called Watershed. The Current will be taking an in depth look at the many ways that water flows through everything we do and how a simple twist of the tap influences global politics, international economics and the ecology of the entire planet.

Global Glacier Retreat Video – Short video compares photographs of glaciers at different points over the last century.

Aspen Institute: "The Future of Water" Video with Peter H. Gleick, co-founder and president of the Pacific Institute in Oakland, California. Dr. Gleick is an internationally recognized water expert and in 2003 was awarded the prestigious MacArthur Fellowship for his science and policy work on water issues worldwide. His research and writing address the critical connections between water and human health, the human right to water, the hydrologic impacts of climate change, sustainable water use, privatization and globalization and international conflicts over water resources.

The Water Channel has short videos on a wide variety of water-related topics

The Diary of Jay Z: Water for Life - After meeting with the U.N., Jay-Z goes to Africa. 'I couldn't believe what people had to go through just to get water,' he says. (11.19.06)

FLOW - Irena Salina's award-winning documentary investigation Into what experts label the most important political and environmental issue of the 21st Century - The World Water Crisis. Salina builds a case against the growing privatization of the world's dwindling fresh water supply with an unflinching focus on politics, pollution, human rights, and the emergence of a domineering world water cartel. Beyond identifying the problem, FLOW also gives viewers a look at the people and institutions providing practical solutions to the water crisis and those developing new technologies, which are fast becoming blueprints for a successful global and economic turnaround.

THE CORPORATION explores the nature and spectacular rise of the dominant institution of our time. Taking its status as a legal "person" to the logical conclusion, the film puts the corporation on the psychiatrist's couch to ask "What kind of person is it?" The Corporation includes interviews with 40 corporate insiders and critics - including Noam Chomsky, Naomi Klein, Milton Friedman, Howard Zinn, Vandana Shiva and Michael Moore - plus true confessions, case studies and strategies for change.