Water Supply and Sustainability

This resource pack can be used to highlight issues such as global water scarcity, the challenges people face when sourcing water and maintaining a water supply in developing countries and the role of the engineers in solving these problems.

The activities are introduced with a quick quiz and a presentation. Students then work in groups to discuss whether they think the sources of water represent drinkable or non-drinkable sources of water.

The main activity is designed to demonstrate the challenges those in developing countries face to obtain safe drinking water, highlights global water disparity and the need for water treatment. Students are divided into groups and given the task of building a working water filter; the ease of this task will depend on the country that the group is assigned and the access that they have to knowledge and monetary resources. The countries that students represent are from around the world and vary in their level of wealth and therefore access to resources. In order to build the water filter students must plan, purchase materials, and build the filter using the instructions they are provided with.

Background information and ideas for further discussion are provided, together with student worksheets and instructions. These resources were produced by Water for the World, a collaboration between Engineers Without Borders UK (EWB) and Arup, a global firm of consulting engineers, in order to stimulate thought on global water sustainability.

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