Saturday, April 4, 2009

Water Education Resources

In support of EE Week's 2009 Be Water Wise! theme, we bring you these additional resources to assist in teaching and learning about water. Visit the Curricula Library for lesson plans on water and the Water Quality Testing page for resources on conducting water quality tests with your students.

Be in the Know About H2O - Water Conservation Videos from the Weather Channel
Download short video clips with water-saving tips from Forecast Earth, a program of the Weather Channel. Titles include "Give the tap a break" and "Don't be a drip...Fix leaks."
The Regional Water Providers Consortium of the Portland metro area presents, a site where you and your students may learn about water conservation and water issues. Take a room-by-room tour of the Water House, and find a variety of water conservation tips to help save water and money. Explore the Kid's Corner for interactive activities that help kids learn about saving water, finding and fixing leaks, and where water comes from.

DC Water and Sewer Authority (DC WASA) For Kids!
Washington, DC's Water and Sewer Authority presents DC WASA For Kids!, offering cartoons, activities, lessons, and workbooks for students to learn about water and ways to conserve our most important natural resource. This bright and cheerful site explores the water treatment process, the water cycle, how people use water, and water saving tips and information. from the American Water Works Association (AWWA)
AWWA presents, an interactive site with resources about drinking water. Explore the information about water conservation and drinking water quality. Visit the Kids section for "Whaddya Know about H2O?" video clips, printable worksheets, and "The Story of Drinking Water."

EPA's Office of Ground Water and Drinking Water
EPA's Office of Ground Water and Drinking Water's site provides information on local drinking water quality and the protection of our sources of drinking water. The Drinking Water For Kids section also provides activities for students and teachers, including a Water Filtration activity to demonstrate a procedure for purifying drinking water and and interactive instructions for the activity.

EPA's Watershed Academy Webcasts
EPA's Office of Wetlands, Oceans, and Watersheds presents the Watershed Academy. Local watershed organizations, municipal leaders, and others are invited to sign up for these free, on-line Webcast training sessions. Past webcast topics include: Rain Gardens; Water, Energy, and Climate Change; Smart Growth and Green Infrastructure; Volunteer Water Quality Monitoring; and many others. Archived Webcasts are available and free to download. helps educators bring the beauty and importance of estuaries into classrooms and educational programs. The site provides an avenue for students and teachers to learn about estuaries, research, and explore NOAA's "living laboratories" - the National Estuarine Research Reserves.

Fairfax Water
Fairfax Water, Virginia's largest water utility, has an educational resources page for both students and educators. Included among the many activities for students are features such as "The Story of Water" which includes games for students, and "The Full Treatment" which takes students through the water treatment process. While student project and grants programs are only available to Virginia residents, the online resources are engaging learning tools for all.

Irena Salina's award-winning documentary investigates what experts label the most important political and environmental issue of the 21st Century - The World Water Crisis. 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. Visit the website for more information about water issues and the film itself. Watch the trailer, look for showings in a theater near you, or purchase the non-theatrical version for educational use.

Give Water a Hand from The University of Wisconsin's Environmental Resources Center
The Give Water a Hand Action Guide for students and Leader Guidebook for educators offer step-by-step instructions to take action to help improve the health of local waterways and the local ecosystem in turn. The guides were designed for students aged 9-12, but adaptations for use with all age groups are provided. This great resource for schools, homeschools, scout groups, and after-school programs was produced by the University of Wisconin's Environmental Resources Center. The action guide has also been produced in spanish.

Global Water Network
A project of the Earth Day Network, the Global Water Network is a comprehensive resource to raise awareness about water issues. Here your students can access key water articles and reports, link to country-specific water data, read news feeds, discuss water issues in the forum, and access global water happenings in the events calendar.

The Groundwater Foundation
The Groundwater Foundation seeks to motivate people to care for and about groundwater by focusing on groundwater education and outreach. Many resources for educators (such as coloring sheets, activity pages, lesson plans, and puzzles) can be found at their Kids Corner. The newly released activity guide, "Be Water Wise in School: Science that Impacts Your Campus," combines water education and service-learning.

Holding on to the Green Zone
The Bureau of Land Management, in collaboration with the University of Wisconsin-Extension and the USDA Cooperative State Research, Education, and Extension Service, presents Holding on to the Green Zone: A Youth Program for the Study and Stewardship of Community Riparian Areas. The program engages students in activities to explore and understand the role and importance of riparian areas. A Student Action Guide and a Leader Guide are available for download, and the program is correlated to national education standards.

H2O Conserve
At H2O Conserve, visitors can calculate their water footprints, explore water and money saving tips to reduce their water footprints, download educational resources, and find links to other sites with information about conserving water.

H2O for Life
H2O for Life has a global partner for your school! H2O for Life partnerships transform lives abroad and in your classroom. Find out how your school can "Make a Difference" by providing clean water, sanitation and hygiene education for a school in need. H2O for Life will help you teach about global water issues, partner with a school overseas, get fundraising tools and tips, find classroom activities, and engage your students in a meaningful service learning project.

Liquid Assets
Liquid Assets is a public media and outreach initiative that seeks to inform the nation about the critical role that our water infrastructure plays in protecting public health and promoting economic prosperity. Combining a ninety-minute documentary with a community toolkit for facilitating local involvement, Liquid Assets explores the history, engineering, and political and economic challenges of our water infrastructure, and engages communities in local discussion about public water and wastewater issues. Visit the site to find out when the documentary will be broadcast near you, or contact your local PBS station to request a broadcast to watch with your students.

P.O.V.'s Borders: Water from PBS
Part of the Environment series, P.O.V's Water page allows visitors to explore others' views on water issues and share their own. The idea behind P.O.V.'s Borders series is that each episode will ask visitors to consider an aspect of their everyday lives in ways that challenge their preconceptions, and expand their "borders" of understanding.

River of Words
Each year, in affiliation with The Library of Congress Center for the Book, River of Words conducts a free international poetry and art contest for youth on the theme of watersheds. The contest is designed to help youth explore the natural and cultural history of the place they live and to express, through poetry and art, what they discover. Curriculum materials and other resources are available online.

USGS Water Science for Schools
Water Science for Schools, created by the U.S. Geological Survey, offers information on a variety of water-related subjects including pictures, data, and maps. The site provides an interactive center where students can voice opinions and test their water knowledge. Portions of the website are availbale in Spanish and Chinese, and The Water Cycle diagram is available in over 60 languages. While at the USGS website, check out their page of water-related resources for educators, and their Water Education Posters, available in English and Spanish.

Water Conservation at encourages teens to find the cause they care about and get the facts so they can take action. Resources for learning about water issues, a video on world water usage, articles on ways to make a difference, and water conservation tips are all found on their Water Conservation page.

Water Footprint
People use lots of water for drinking, cooking and washing, but even more for producing things such as food, paper, cotton clothes, etc. The water footprint is an indicator of water use that looks at both direct and indirect water use of a consumer or producer. The water footprint of an individual, community or business is defined as the total volume of freshwater that is used to produce the goods and services consumed by the individual or community or produced by the business. This site explores statistics on water use from around the globe and provides a water calculator to help determine your personal water footprint.

Water: H2O = Life
The Water: H2O = Life site is a companion to the American Museum of Natural History's exhibit of the same name. The site and exhibit explore the relationship between water and life, water's physical and chemical properties, how water is used by humans, and the importance of preventing water pollution. You will find excellent information and graphics on water issues, educator resources, lesson plans, and articles for all grade levels, and games and web activities for students. The exhibit will be on an international tour through September 2011. Visit the website to find out when Water: H2O = Life will stop at a museum near you!

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.

Water - Use It Wisely
This website all about water conservation offers 100 water-saving tips, as well as a kids page with games and interactive online activities, and links to a variety of national and state-based organizations that focus on water conservation. Visitors may also download a home water audit in English or Spanish.