Although we take it for granted, sanitation is a physical measure that has probably done more to increase human life span than any kind of drug or surgery.
The earth is a closed system, similar to a terrarium, meaning that it rarely loses or gains extra matter. The same water that existed on the earth millions of years ago is still present today. source
A person can live about a month without food, but only about a week without water. source
Nearly 1 out of every 5 deaths under the age of 5 worldwide is due to a water-related disease. source
Producing 1 kg rice… requires about 3,500 litres of water, 1 kg beef [requires] 15,000 litres. source
Someone living in a country like Australia consumes 30–50 times more water than someone living in a developing country. source
Approximately 85 to 95 per cent of rainfall in Australia is lost to evaporation or transpiration. source
UN Water: facts and information about current situations. The interactive maps (Key Water Indicator Portal) are really interesting (secondary students).
United Nations, Water for Life: heaps of information, interactive discussions and resources for all ages. There are also videos, games and posters.
World Water Council: current events, forums for discussion and a library of information. Suitable for senior secondary students.
Water.org: information and statistics on the global situation.
International Decade for Action “Water for Life”: information, fact sheets, games, videos and stories that can help you to learn more about water and inspire you and those around you to take action.
Water Footprint Network: do you know how much water was used to grow your food and to produce your clothes and the things you buy? Find out here!
Water Changes Everything: short animated video.
The Groundwater Story: animated video which illustrates the importance of groundwater to living things and how to protect this resource (for younger students).
What does your shower mean to you?: 3 minute video giving statistics for Melbourne Australia and how much water is used for a shower.
A Day in the Life of Lucy: 4 minute video which examines the daily activities of a young girl from Uganda.
The Adventures of Super Toilet: funny animation about safe water and sanitation (9 mins 24s).
Every Drop Counts: an animated video, created by a student for students.
Last Call at the Oasis: view the trailer.
Drinking Water and Sanitation Quiz: for us, having access to drinking water is easy, but it’s not for everyone in the world. How much do you know about this?
UN Water Quiz: what do you know about water? Take the quiz and find out.
Play the following games:
The Water Family – try to help the family cut down their water use in their home and garden.
Test Your Watersense – check what you know about water.
Go with the Flow – learn about how a river flows.
Catchment Detox – see if you can successfully manage a river catchment and create a sustainable and thriving economy.
Water Use it Wisely – has many water-related games.
Save my Water **
Let the Poo Thru **
Operation Aqua *
Project Desal *
Water Flow *
Measure Water Flow #
Captain Plop **
Run the River **
Where’s my Water? **
Where’s my Water 2? **
Ryan’s Well Foundation: be inspired by this Canadian boy who has built 238 water wells in eleven countries.
Other learning resources
A Fairer World has posters, classroom activities, books, DVDs and web links on global issues such as water and sanitation. Contact us for a complete list of resources available free or on loan to members.