Students investigate the amount of
water available in different countries around the world
and compare it to their daily water use. Groups are
given a limited water supply with which they must perform
daily functions. Students explore how unequal distribution
of water can cause challenges that they must overcome
to survive and also the need to protect and conserve
fresh water supplies.
Students will be able to:
1. Discuss the availability of drinking water around
the world and the impact of that availability on individuals,
families and communities.
Science Education Standards
Content Standard F: Science in Personal and Social
- Human populations use resources in the environment
in order to maintain and improve their existence.
Natural resources have been and will continue to
used to maintain human populations.
- The earth does not have infinite resources; increasing
human consumption places severe
stress on the natural processes that
renew some resources, and it depletes
those resources that cannot be renewed.
- Humans use many natural systems as resources. Natural
systems have the capacity to
reuse waste, but that capacity is limited.
Natural systems can change to an
extent that exceeds the limits of organisms to adapt naturally
or humans to adapt technologically.
- Natural ecosystems provide an array of basic processes
that affect humans. Those processes
include maintenance of the quality
of soils, control of the hydrologic cycle, disposal
of wastes, and recycling of nutrients. Humans are
changing many of these
basic processes, and the changes
may be detrimental to humans. [See Content Standard
C (grades 9-12)]
- Materials from human societies affect both physical
and chemical cycles of the earth.
- Many factors influence environmental quality. Factors
that students might investigate include
population growth, resource
distribution, over consumption,
the capacity of technology to solve problems,
poverty, the role of economic, political, and
religious views, and different
humans view the earth.
United Nations High Commission for Refugees estimates
that an average human needs a minimum of 30 liters
of water a day – 5 liters (approximately 1.3
gallons) for drinking and cooking, plus 25 liters
(approximately 7 gallons) or more to keep clean.
The average citizen of the United States uses about
425 liters (approximately 112 gallons). Canadians
average about 340 liters of water per day. Europeans
use about 140 liters per day. In Africa, the average
person uses 3 liters per day. Note that these figures
do not include other water uses or technologies that
use water at home or in the work place.
developing nations, 80% of all diseases are related
to poor water quality. It is estimated
people around the world die each day due to contaminated
water and poor sanitation. In the United States,
wastewater treatment, enforced drinking water guidelines,
education and public health practices have made
water-related illnesses such as typhoid
fever and cholera almost
household toilets use 20 liters per flush where they
could use 6 liters. Some industrial plants
and municipalities use water bodies as convenient
Rapid growth of urban populations and the many
chemical products that we use and dispose of
daily are also
factors that must be considered in the equation
which equals increasing rates of surface and
groundwater pollution. Our thirst for water and energy
Water Conservation – Doing the Same with Less.
By using water more efficiently, we will reduce pollution,
health risks and water costs, as well as extend the
useful life of existing supply and waste treatment
facilities. Most importantly, we are protecting water
supplies for present and future generations.
Source: Clean Water Life Depends On It! Freshwater
Series A-3. Environment Canada. Ottawa. 1992
Water Conservation- Every Drop Counts. Freshwater
Series A-6. Environment Canada. Ottawa. 1992
Water – Here, There, Everywhere. Freshwater
Series A-2. Environment Canada. Ottawa. 1992
and Resource Websites
United Nations High Commission for Refugees http://www.unhcr.org/home.html
Tucson Water http://www.ci.tucson.az.us/water/
to Read A Water Bill & Water Meter