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The Best Resources For Teaching & Learning About World Water Day

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'Glass of Water' photo (c) 2011, Sean - license:

Seventeen years ago, the United Nations designated March 22nd as World Water Day. It’s designed to bring attention to the fact that over one billion people in the world are without access to adequate water, and focuses attention on the growing issue of “water privatization” — forcing many people to pay private companies exorbitant prices to obtain the necessary water to survive.

In addition to events that took place yesterday, many more are scheduled throughout the world during this coming week.

You might also be interested in A Beginning List Of The Best Resources On California’s Drought.

Here are my picks for The Best Resources For Teaching & Learning About World Water Day, and are accessible to English Language Learners:

World Water Day is the title of a series of photographs from the Sacramento Bee.

Here’s another slideshow showing World Water Day events in different countries.

The UN has a special site on World Water Day with lots of resources.

Water Aid also has many resources.

The New York Times has a video on a neat simple solution for clean water.

Did you know it takes 5,500 gallons of water to produce two pounds of roasted coffee?  That’s one of a number of amazing water statistics you can find on a Wall Street Journal interactive graphic they recently published.

Safe Drinking Water is a site developed by the Academy of Sciences to highlight worldwide water issues. It has several good videos that are closed-captions, along with an atlas showing which countries have less or more access to water resources. It’s definitely accessible to Intermediate English Language Learners.

Here are some games designed to help people learn how to conserve water:

The Water Family Game

Mission H2O

GOOD Magazine has an infographic called Walk This Way: Making The Right Choices To Reduce Your Water Imprint.

The British newspaper The Guardian has several online videos related to World Water Day.

The Green IQ Game has several different modules, including one on water.

The CBBC Newsround has a very accessible Guide To Water.

The BBC has two useful interactives — one is a map of “water hotspots” and the other is a “Fact File.”

Here’s a Red Cross slideshow on water issues.

Water Conservation Around The House is an interactive sharing ways to conserve water.

Ten Things You Should Know About Water is a good infographic.

Find Water Polluters Near You is an interactive from The New York Times. You can type in your zip code and then learn about nearby companies cited for polluting local water.

The Times also has a video called Toxic Waters.

The Coming Water Wars is a great infographic.

World Water Day 2010 is a series of photos from MSNBC.

World Water Day is from The Boston Globe’s Big Picture.

Safe Water For All is a CNN video.

From Lettuce to Beef, What’s the Water Footprint of Your Food?

World’s Water Content is an intriguing infographic.

There are several interactives to help you determine how much water you use:

What is your Water Footprint?

Water Footprint: Quick Calculator

Water Footprint: Extended Calculator

Water Footprint Calculator comes from National Geographic

National Geographic has several water-related features:

How Much Water Is Embedded In Everyday Life is an interactive.

Water: A Special Issue


Water Is Life — Photography

Save Your Water is a neat interactive from Underwriters Laboratories. It’s designed to help you identify your water usage and ways to reduce it, and lets people make a pledge on what they will do. For each of the first 15,000 pledges received, UL will donate one dollar to Water for People.

Water Economics is the title of a neat infographic on water use around the world.

GOOD Magazine has several resources:

An infographic showing water conflicts around the world.

These next two are a little different, but I thought readers might still find them useful:

Absence of Water is an interesting slideshow.

Crowdsourced Picture Show About Water is another slideshow.

“Pakistan Water Crisis” is a series of photos from The Sacramento Bee.

“Stop Drinking Bottled Water” is a fairly accessible infographic on the environmental consequences of using bottled water. I’m pretty confident that the information is accurate, but I wish they had toned down the rhetoric a bit.

“Glass Half Empty: The Coming Water Wars” is an infographic reviewing the water crisis in different parts of the world.

Water and Cities: Facts and Figures is a useful interactive.

World Water Day 2011 comes from The Sacramento Bee.

There was a contest connected to the Day to develop the best water-related infographics. You can see all of the submitted infographics — and there are a lot of them — here.

Fresh Water Supply is an interactive that lets you explore water usage around the world.

Tapped Out: The World Water Crisis has a number of lesson plans.

Here’s a video titled “Water Changes Everything”:

The Water Planet Challenge has a ton of good resources.

Every Drop Counts is an infographic from GOOD.

These are three infographics from GOOD:

How Does Lack of Water Affect Women and Children?

Picturing A Lifetime of Clean Water Access

10 Ways to Stop Wasting Water

World Water Day is a photo gallery from The Atlantic.

World Water Day Challenge is a collection of infographics.

World Water Day 2012 is a photo gallery from The Boston Globe.

Imagine All The Water is a very accessible and interactive site sponsored by the European Commission.

Here’s how The Atlantic describes it:

The site Imagine All the Water would like to remind you of how much water you’re using even when you’re not taking a bath or brushing your teeth. Sponsored by the European Commission, the site brings together a mind-boggling array of estimates about the overall amount of water required to create everyday consumer products. Though the site’s purpose is advocacy — essentially, to scare us into a water-conservational mindset — it also offers a useful reminder of how crazily resource-intensive the most ordinary objects can be.

Interactive: how much water is used in the production of different foods? is a useful….interactive from The Guardian. It’s design is somewhat unique.

Water and the Environment is a collection of teacher resources from UNICEF.

World Water Day 2013 is a photo gallery from The Boston Globe.

World Water Day 2013: First-World H2O Problems is from The Huffington Post.

World Water Day is a Washington Post slideshow.

Infographic by Seametrics, a manufacturer of water flow meter technology that measures and conserves water.

How much water do you use? is an interactive from The Washington Post.

Why Waste Water?

by worldbank.
Explore more infographics like this one on the web’s largest information design community – Visually.

Why Waste Water?

by worldbank.
Explore more infographics like this one on the web’s largest information design community – Visually.

Saving Water: How Scarcity & Misuse is Threatening Our Planet

Explore more infographics like this one on the web’s largest information design community – Visually.

Saving the World Through Water

by NowSourcing.
Explore more infographics like this one on the web’s largest information design community – Visually.

World Water Day March 22nd

As always, feedback is welcome.

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Author: Larry Ferlazzo

I'm a high school teacher in Sacramento, CA.

One Comment

  1. Hi Larry-

    Great stuff as always! In honor of World Water Day I thought I would share Retired Professor Brian Fagan’s free online course:

    Elixir: A History of Water and Humans. Link:

    Water tells the story of changing human relationships with water over the past 10,000 years and tries to answer some basic questions:

    How have human attitudes to water changed since people first began to manage their water supplies?
    What major events in the past have defined our present relationship to water, not as something revered, but treated as an anonymous commodity?
    Why are we now facing a global water crisis and what are prospects for the future?

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