Water for Everyone?

23 April 2012

Children playing with water (South Africa) © Survival International

Water scarcity is an endemic problem worldwide and it’s worsening. In the UK access to water has been taken for granted, but drought is now undermining access in many parts of England. Meanwhile, in popular British tourism destinations all over the world, local communities face a daily struggle to meet their water needs.

So as we’re all being urged to think more carefully about water use, Tourism Concern’s new online resources on global water issues could be just what’s needed to freshen up this term’s Geography or Citizenship curriculum.

Water for Everyone: Sustainability and Tourism Issues is an easy to use five unit series of lesson plans, images and associated resources, making the concept of water scarcity directly relevant to your students.

Starting from a general overview of the issue, the lessons match interactive learning with case studies hot off the press from Tourism Concern’s WET (Water Equity and Tourism) campaign.

The case studies, ranging from Zanzibar and Bali and to the Indian states of Goa and Kerala, also provide a stimulating focus for looking at wider issues of sustainable development, at a level accessible to Year 8 upwards.

Here are examples of what you can expect to find.

Unit 2: How does tourism affect the demand for water? contains ideas for challenging young people to consider their own lifestyles at home and on holiday, helped by an image bank of photos and cartoons.

Unit 4’s WebQuests on coastal tourism destinations provide a structure for developing independent research skills.

The role play in Unit 5: Tourism and conflict explores a current tourism development controversy in Bali, with an illustrated presentation to introduce the issues facing different stakeholders.

Water equity cartoon © Equations - click to view larger versionTourism Concern’s website itself is well known to Tourism and Geography educators as an excellent source of objective information about the industry and its impacts. For those wanting to look more deeply at water issues, the WET campaign pages provide further useful information and ways of relating the issue to our own lives.

As tourists and travellers we consume water in many ways without necessarily being aware of the cost to the local communities around us. These new resources should help us all understand why access to water is not just an issue for our gardens but also for people’s lives.

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