water Program

Teaching and Educator Resources

Education is the first step towards becoming water wise. Below is a list of free resources and lesson ideas to help educators and students alike enrich their understanding of how we all depend on water, and how we can protect our precious water resources.

Our Tools and Content

Below is a selection of our tools and resources that can supplement your classroom lessons on water. Please note that with the exception of the Aqua video and materials, our resources are best suited for middle and high school students.

Water Footprint Calculator  Learn how much water you use every day: not just the water that comes out of the tap, but also the water it takes to make the food you eat, the energy you use and the products you buy.

How to Save Water Tips Pages  Over 100 ideas for how you can reduce your water use and cut back on waste.

Water Issue Pages  Our issue pages provide in-depth information about how we use water directly, both inside and outside the home, and “virtually” through our food, energy and consumption choices.

Meet the Nexus: How Food, Water and Energy Are Connected  Our guide shows you how everyday food, water and energy decisions are interconnected, and suggests nine simple choices you can make to use food, water and energy more sustainably.

Aqua: A Video for Kids  Our K-4 video, comic book, coloring book and posters show how kids and their families can conserve water.

Lesson Suggestions Using Our Content

Looking for some ideas on how to use our tool and resources? See below for several suggested lessons for middle and high school students!

Water Footprint Calculator

  • Students take the Water Footprint Calculator, compare their water footprints and discuss how they can be lowered.
  • Challenge students to choose three water saving tips and implement them for one week, then discuss how they did.
  • Use the issue pages for a discussion about where water is most used (virtual water) in food, energy and household products. Discuss personal consumption and purchases.
  • Students share the Water Footprint Calculator with their social media networks and challenge their friends and families to lower their water footprints – we suggest #savewater #h2omg hashtags.

Food, Water and Energy Nexus

  • Students read Meet the Nexus and provide examples of the nexus in their lives.
  • Students look up the tag “nexus” on our Ecocentric blog, read two to three articles and discuss some of the unexpected food, water and energy connections that they learned about.

Other Resources

There are a large number of excellent (and free!) water education resources available online. See below for our curated list of websites, films, research and curricula that you can use in your classroom.

Websites

The USGS Water Science School

EPA: Water Science

Children's Environmental Literacy Foundation

Water Footprint Network

Change the Course

Alliance for Water Efficiency

River Network

National Geographic – The Hidden Water We Use

American Museum of Natural History Exhibit - Water: H2O = Life

Films

Flow: For the Love of Water

Last Call at the Oasis

Home

Gasland

Tapped

Thirst

The Story of Bottled Water

The Story of Stuff

Running Dry: A Call to Action

Curricula

The Water Project Lesson Plans for All Grades

H2O for Life K-12 lesson plans and STEM guide

Sustainable Water Challenge K-12 curricula

Facing the Future Collection of water-focused K-12 curricula

Project WET Water Education Portal with K-12 curricula

The Water Sourcebook series K-12 water activities

Research Papers/Articles

Water Footprint Statistics

Perceptions of Water Use by Dr. Shazeen Attari

Understanding Environmentally Significant Consumption by Thomas Dietz