World Water Day 2014

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waterday3Water is essential for life. We drink it, we bathe in it, and we play in it. Communities, cities, businesses, and even countries have been built around water. Whether it is the surge of ocean tides, or the flow from our faucets, life would be impossible without water. And, water is just not a local issue—it is a global concern that affects everyone.

In this month’s Internet Challenge™, we are going to spend some time learning about an exciting international event that will take place in the month of March: World Water Day. Each year, this event highlights a specific aspect of water. For 2014, the theme is Water and Energy. The objective is raise awareness about how "Water and energy are closely interlinked and interdependent. Energy generation and transmission requires utilization of water resources, particularly for hydroelectric, nuclear, and thermal energy sources. Conversely, about 8% of the global energy generation is used for pumping, treating and transporting water to various consumers".waterday5

On our planet, there are over two hundred transboundary river basins and some of them are shared by more than two countries. There is even one river that flows through eighteen countries! Did you know that 11% of the world's population do not have safe water to drink?

As we begin, consider these questions: Are there ways we can safeguard and manage our freshwater resources for today’s world population as well as for future generations? Does one nation’s water needs necessarily put it at odds with its neighbors? How can we inspire global understanding of our shared waters?


Get ready to discover some noteworthy information about World Water Day. You will see when it comes to water we are all interdependent or, as our first Web site states, “Whether we live upstream or downstream, we are all in the same boat.”


Our first Web site is World Water Day, which you can find by browsing tohttp://www.unwater.org/worldwaterday/

Read the home page, and then click About World Water Day and FAQs. After you finish reading, answer the first set of questions.

waterday4Read closely through this short Web page and examine the graphic. Then answer the first set of questions.


1. How did World Water Day begin?



2. What percentage of the world’s population live within internationally shared river basins?



3. For what purpose would water treaties need to be signed?



4. Explain how international conflicts over water are handled.


5. The primary substantive rules of international law is that States must utilize their international watercourses in an equitable way and without causing significant harm to their neighbors.Which word below would be a synonym for the word “equitable?”

a. disinterested

b. excessivewaterday2

c. fair


6. In your own words, write down the meaning of the rule listed above in #5.




7. Discuss the beginnings of the 1997 Global Convention, its purpose and why it has not yet gone into force.



8. Looking at the different themes for past World Water Day events, which topic do you think is the most important or most interesting? Explain your choice.







Let’s learn more about transboundary waters at The World Bank – Water Supply site. Find the Transboundary Waters page at http://water.worldbank.org/related-topics/transboundary-waters.

Read the material on this page and then complete the next set of questions.

9. There are more than _____ rivers in the world, covering _____ of the land surface of the earth, which accounts for about _____of global river flows. About _____ of the world’s population currently lives in the countries sharing these rivers.What do these numbers signify to you?

10. With our international water resources coming under increasing pressure as populations grow and economies develop, what types of challenges are being encountered?





Travel to Europe now! Go to WHO/Europe – World Water Day at http://www.wateraid.org/us/get-involved/world-water-day?id=G,14C-gaw,GAW,WWD&gclid=CMmMy8W8_7wCFYN0Ogod4g0ABg#/one-time-donation/USD/

11. Explain why this year’s theme of transboundary waters is particularly applicable for people living in Europe.






Now, travel to Canada! Go to World Water Day in Canada at http://www.canadians.org/worldwaterday

12. Scroll down the page and click the link under “organize a film screening.” With teacher permission, watch the YouTube trailer for For Love of Water (FLOW), an award-winning documentary that highlights the impacts of the global water crisis.After you have watched the two minute trailer, what is your reaction?  Is this a movie that should be viewed by the public? Do you agree or disagree with this opinion: “People say that water is a lot like air. You shouldn’t have to charge for water.” What do you think? How can neighboring countries equitably share water? Write your thoughts on paper and be prepared to support your ideas and talk about it!



Extension Activities

  • Go to “World Water Day – Events.” athttp://www.unwater.org/worldwaterday/events/en/  Read each event’s article. After you are done, compare and contrast how World Water Day will be celebrated in these three locations. Which one would you like to attend if you could? Be able to support your answer. Suggestion – create a spreadsheet or Venn diagram to illustrate this compare and contrast activity. After you are done, share it with your teacher and classmates. Talk about it!
  • Create your own poster advertising “World Water Day 2014” by using paper, pencil, and art tools or appropriate computer software. Use any of the sites used in this activity and those listed below to get ideas as to what you would like to include in your poster. Once it is completed, share it with your teacher and classmates, Talk about it!





“UNICEF.org”- even though it has information pertaining to 2008’s topic (sanitation), it is an excellent resource.



Go to CharityWater.org – Water for Schools at http://www.charitywater.org/schools/index.htm

With teacher permission, watch the three minute video, “Time Bomb.” This Web site’s mission is to give 100 schools in developing nations clean water and get students around the world connected to schools in need. What type of persuasive letter would you write to get a school involved in this project? Before you compose your note, consider this question: How can bordering countries work together and reasonably share clean water? After you have completed your convincing letter, be ready to share it with your teacher and classmates. Talk about it!



Congratulations! You have done a fantastic job completing this month’s Internet Challenge™.

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