Activity Introduction

water-hero22-260x300Quick summary: In this activity students will work in groups to research the freshwater situation in regions around the world. Students will be asked to produce both a report and a map of the region they investigate, and will use the map to create a freshwater map of the world in the classroom. They will then be asked to rank the region they investigated on its present and future water stress.

Essential questions:

  • Recognise the limited quantity of fresh water available for all life on Earth and that many parts of the world are experiencing freshwater stress.
  • Communicate effectively in fair and considered class-wide discussion on issues.
  • Demonstrate the ability to work collaboratively to research and compile information on issues.
  • Demonstrate the ability to work collaboratively to communicate lessons from research through art or literacy exercises.

Australian Curriculum Mapping 

Content descriptions:

Year 9 Science

  • Formulate questions orhypotheses that can be investigated scientifically (ACSIS164)
  • People can use scientific knowledge to evaluate whether they should accept claims, explanations or predictions (ACSHE160)

Year 10 Science

  • Formulate questions or hypotheses that can be investigated scientifically (ACSIS198)
  • Global systems, including the carbon cycle, rely on interactions involving the biosphere, lithosphere, hydrosphere and atmosphere (ACSSU189)
  • People can use scientific knowledge toevaluate whether they should accept claims, explanations or predictions (ACSHE194)

Year 9 English

  • Interpret, analyse and evaluate how different perspectives of issue, event, situation, individuals or groups are constructed to serve specific purposes in texts (ACELY1742)

Syllabus OutcomesSC5-13ES, SC5-4WS, SC5-12ESEN5-2A

Topic: Water

Year levels: 9 and 10

Indoor or outdoor activity: Indoor

Time required: 120+ mins. Please note, this activity can be extended over several lessons if time permits.

Learning areas addressed: English, Geography, Health.

Level of teacher scaffolding: Lead students in a discussion around research.

Resources required: Internet and library access, world map and Student Worksheet.

Homework and extension opportunities: This activity includes opportunities for homework or extension.

Keywords: Water, Report, Map, Discussion, Issue, Weather, Lotus Diagram, Research, Report. 

Cool Australia’s curriculum team continually reviews and refines our resources to be in line with changes to the Australian Curriculum.


Teacher Worksheet

water-hero22-260x300Teacher preparation

Although Australia is a large place with multiple climates and weather conditions, we will all have a particular experience with water, particularly fresh water. You might live in a city where the only time you ever really think about water is when it’s raining on your suede shoes.

Or you might live somewhere where the winter and spring rains mean the difference between staying on the land or selling up.

Another possibility is that you might live somewhere that experiences boom and bust freshwater episodes, where for several years there’s scarcely enough water to water the lemon tree, while at other times there is so much water that the whole neighbourhood floods and the lemon tree threatens to float away into the neighbour's yard.

But whether we think about it or not, freshwater is one of the biggest issues for all of us. And not just for us living in Australia: freshwater and its availability is a huge issue in many parts of the world. Like us here in Australi


Student Worksheet

Your task is to find out about fresh water around the world. Use the Lotus Diagram below to help compare different countries around the world and the availability of fresh water in these places.

To complete this Lotus Diagram you need to find out eight pieces of information for each of the countries in the table. You can write your information in the eight boxes surrounding each of the countries names.

For each country you may want to look at the following:

  1. What is the overall climate of the country
  2. What is the average rainfall in the country?
  3. What is the projected average rainfall for the country in 2050?
  4. Are there any major water concerns for the country (flood, drought, pollution)?
  5. What are the main water conservation/management strategies for the country (dams, pipelines, wells, desalination plants, etc.)?
  6. Do any of the major industries within the country rely on a water supply? 
  7. What percentage of the country has access to clean drinking water?
  8. Are there any ma

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