Educating school kids to watch for every drop of water
A total of 14 information sheets has just been released under the title “Drops of Water” as part of UNESCO’s active promotion of the H2Ooooh! Initiative. Schoolchildren from around the world are invited to participate in this scientific and creative learning experience. Facts and figures about water, together with a list of references that will help schools prepare and realize their storyboard. Whether or not their work will be selected, taking part in this exciting endeavour will be a unique opportunity to raise awareness, and to learn something new about water and what one could do to safeguard such a precious element for our lives!
1. What is a river? The first image that comes to mind when we think of a river is that of water running continuously from mountain to valley. This may sound obvious, but it is precisely this aspect that allows us to understand what a river is and how it functions.
2. The properties and availability of water: a fundamental consideration for life Did you know that 71% of our earth’s surface is covered in sea water? Would it not be more fitting then to call it planet “Water” rather than planet “Earth”? We too are made up of water. Did you know that an individual is 70% to 90% percent water?
3. Water and Our Health Every day we need to drink 2.5 litres of water. The human body can resist only a few days without water… without food we can survive a few days more!
4. Good water, water to “eat”. What is virtual water? How much water do we “eat” every day without realizing? It may sound like a joke but it isn’t. All the foodstuffs we eat contain high percentages of water, from chocolate to ice cream, from rice to pasta, from meat to fruit….
5. A river of civilization: works and symbols of water in different world cultures The world’s major civilizations developed along rivers, which have both united and divided human beings. Water is life, our life and that of others too!
6. Water and Traditional Knowledge. Learn from the Past for a Sustainable Future Modern technology alone cannot provide us with adequate answers and solutions to global problems like desertification, flooding and water scarcity. In the future, a key role towards sustainable management of water on our planet will almost certainly take the form of a re-evaluation and rediscovery of “traditional” knowledge and techniques.
7. Pure, Good, Divine: the Sacredness of Water in History Water has always been held as sacred in all of the world’s religions. The current major religions lend it great importance.
8. Where Water Becomes Art, Art is… Water! Water has always been a subject of works of art. From prehistoric times, humans depicted water as a wavy line, a stylized image that is easily recognizable and comprehensible.
9. Water in the Productive Processes Have you ever wondered how many things could be produced without water? The answer is, very few indeed! Water is not only necessary for food production, but for industrial production too.
10. Blue Gold. Poverty, Access to Water and Water Rights Fresh water is a limited resource that today is increasingly sought after. Its natural distribution on earth is not equal in all nations and in many regions of the world it is considered as precious as gold.
11. Climate Change, Desertification and Rising Sea Levels Global climate change, desertification and rising sea levels, the effects of which could seriously endanger the equilibrium humans have attained in their environment, are today a major priority for international organizations.
12. Let’s Give Life Back to Our Rivers When we think of the great civilizations of the past, what strikes us is that they always developed alongside a major river.
13. Love Your Tap Water! We don’t all have … a tap! We all need tap water, and yet today about 1 billion people in the world do not have access to clean water, roughly ¼ of the world’s population.
14. Manual for Saving Water Water is a diminishing resource! Water is a vital resource for human life, and yet, today, there is increasingly less of it on our planet! On Earth there is a major imbalance in the distribution of fresh water. We just have to consider that 12% of the world population consumes 85% of its water.