Search for Resources

Water Mapping

Secondary, Middle


This resource has two films, a slide show, two case studies and two activies.  The slideshow, film and people's stories are designed to support the activities or can stand alone in exploring the conservation and protection of water resources in the developing world.

The first activity investigates how communities in under-developed countries use mapping techniques to identify the best locations for new wells or sanitation blocks.  The second activity outlines a methodology which students can then use to take action relating to conserving water in their own schools.

The first video outlines WaterAid's work in Malawi. The second video focuses on Tanzania, India and Burkina Faso.  It outlines how WaterAid is helping to provide safe water, sanitation and hygiene education.


The slide show illustrates how maps are used to make decisions relating to the location of wells and sanitation blocks.

The first case study tells the story of well in Mozambique.  The second chronicles the experiences of a pump attendant in Tanzania.





General Assessment

What skills does this resource explicitly teach?

  • developing an action project


This is a very interesting and informative resource.  The videos and slide show are of excellent quality.  It is up to date and relevant.


There isn't a really strong link between the background provided in the videos and the activities.

Relevant Curriculum Units

The following tool will allow you to explore the relevant curriculum matches for this resource. To start, select a province listed below.

  • Step 1Select a province
  • Manitoba
    • Step 2Select a grade level
    • Grade 11
      • Step 3Select a subject
      • Science
        • Step 4Relevant matches
        • Current Topics in the Sciences 30S: Science, Technology, Society & the Environment
    • Grade 12
      • Step 3Select a subject
      • Social Studies
        • Step 4Relevant matches
        • Citizenship and Sustainability: Area of Inquiry: Environment
        • Global Issues
  • New Brunswick
    • Step 2Select a grade level
    • Grade 11
      • Step 3Select a subject
      • Geography
        • Step 4Relevant matches
        • Physical Geography 110: Map, Photo, and Satellite Image Interpretation
    • Grade 12
      • Step 3Select a subject
      • Social Studies
        • Step 4Relevant matches
        • World Issues 120:Interdependence
  • Newfoundland & Labrador
    • Step 2Select a grade level
    • Grade 10
      • Step 3Select a subject
      • Geography
        • Step 4Relevant matches
        • Canadian Geography 1202: Natural and Human Systems
  • Nova Scotia
    • Step 2Select a grade level
    • Grade 9
      • Step 3Select a subject
      • Social Studies
        • Step 4Relevant matches
        • Atlantic Canada in the Global Community: Environment
  • Ontario
    • Step 2Select a grade level
    • Grade 8
      • Step 3Select a subject
      • Geography
        • Step 4Relevant matches
        • Global Inequalities: Economic Development and Quality of Life
    • Grade 9
      • Step 3Select a subject
      • Geography
        • Step 4Relevant matches
        • Issues in Canadian Geography (Academic): Geographic Inquiry and Skill Development
        • Issues in Canadian Geography (Applied): Geographic Inquiry and Skill Development
    • Grade 11
      • Step 3Select a subject
      • Environmental Science
        • Step 4Relevant matches
        • Environmental Science (Univ/College Prep.) Human Health and the Environment
        • Environmental Science (Univ/College Prep.) Scientific Solutions to Contemporary Environmental Challenges
        • Environmental Science (Workplace Prep.) Human Health and the Environment
        • Environmental Science (Workplace Prep.) Human Impact on the Environment
      • Geography
        • Step 4Relevant matches
        • Introduction to Spacial Technologies (Open): Geographic Inquiry and Skill Development
        • Introduction to Spacial Technologies: (Open):Using Spacial technologies to Support Sustainability and Stewardship
        • Regional Geography (Univ./College Prep.): Geographic Inquiry and Skill Development
    • Grade 12
      • Step 3Select a subject
      • Geography
        • Step 4Relevant matches
        • World Geography: Urban Patterns & Population Issues (University/College Prep.) Geographic Inquiry and Skill Development
        • World Issues: A Geographic Analysis (Univ. Prep.):Geographic Inquiry and Skill Development
  • Prince Edward Island
    • Step 2Select a grade level
    • Grade 9
      • Step 3Select a subject
      • Social Studies
        • Step 4Relevant matches
        • Interdependence: Atlantic Canada in the Global Community: Citizenship in the Global Community
    • Grade 11
      • Step 3Select a subject
      • Geography
        • Step 4Relevant matches
        • Geography 521A, Global Studies:Geography Methods
    • Grade 12
      • Step 3Select a subject
      • Geography
        • Step 4Relevant matches
        • What can I do?
        • Geography 621A Global Issues
  • Quebec
    • Step 2Select a grade level
    • Grade 9
      • Step 3Select a subject
      • Social Studies
        • Step 4Relevant matches
        • The Contemporary World: Environment

Themes Addressed

  • Science and Technology (1)

    • Appropriate Technology
  • Water (1)

    • Water Treatment and Distribution

Sustainability Education Principles

Principle Rating Explanation
Consideration of Alternative Perspectives Very Good
Consideration of Alternative Perspectives:
  • Satisfactory: absence of bias towards any one point of view
  • Good: students consider different points of view regarding issues, problems discussed
  • Very good: based on the consideration of different views, students form opinions and  take an informed position
Multiple Dimensions of Problems & Solutions Very Good
Multiple Dimensions of Problems & Solutions:

Effectively addresses the environmental, economic and social dimensions of the issue(s) being explored.

  • Satisfactory: resource supports the examination of  these dimensions
  • Good:  resource explicitly examines the interplay of these dimensions
  • Very Good:  a systems-thinking approach is encouraged to examine these three dimensions
Respects Complexity Satisfactory
Respects Complexity:

The complexity of the problems/issues being discussed is respected.

Acting on Learning Satisfactory
  • Students map their school paying particular attention to where water is used
  • Students are instructed to create a tree which outlines how to take action but actually doing something about water use in the school is up to the students to initiate, the activity does not explicitly tell them to take action
Acting on Learning:

Learning moves from understanding  issues  to working towards positive change — in personal lifestyle, in school, in the community,  or for the planet

  • Satisfactory: action opportunities are included as extensions 
  • Good: action opportunities are core components of the resource
  • Very Good: action opportunities for students are well supported and intended to result in observable, positive change
Values Education Satisfactory
Values Education:

Students are explicitly provided with opportunities to identify, clarify and express their own beliefs/values.

Empathy & Respect for Humans Very Good
  • Through the resources in this activity student see how people in other parts of the world must communicate about water availability
  • Students also see that not everyone has easy access to potable water
Empathy & Respect for Humans: Empathy and respect are fostered for diverse groups of humans (including different genders, ethnic groups, sexual preferences, etc.).
Personal Affinity with Earth Satisfactory
Personal Affinity with Earth:

Encourages a personal affinity with -the natural world.  

  • Satisfactory: connection is made to the natural world
  • Good: fosters appreciation/concern for the natural world
  • Very Good: fosters stewardship though practical and respectful experiences out-of-doors 
Locally-Focused Learning Good
  • In the second activity students are asked to consider water conservation in their own school and how they could take action to reduce consumption.
Locally-Focused Learning:

Includes learning experiences that take advantage of issues/elements within the local community. 

  • Satisfactory: learning is made relevant to the lives of the learners
  • Good: learning is made relevant and has a local focus
  • Very Good: learning is made relevant, local and takes place ‘outside’ , in the community 
Past, Present & Future Very Good
  • Information pieces give explanations of what it was like in the past and why changes had to be made. 
  • The actions being taken are outlined.
  • The learner is left with a sense that positive change has been and continues occur.
Past, Present & Future: Promotes an understanding of the past, a sense of the present, and a positive vision for the future.

Pedagogical Approaches

Principle Rating Explanation
Open-Ended Instruction Good
  • Students interpret pictures of WaterAid projects on their own
  • They map water use in their school and identify for themselves how they think water could be conserved
  • They create a tree recognizing how to take action in their school
Open-Ended Instruction :

Lessons are structured so that multiple/complex answers are possible; students are not steered toward one 'right' answer.

Integrated Learning Poor/Not considered
Integrated Learning:

Learning brings together content and skills  from more than one  subject area

  • Satisfactory: content from a number of different  subject areas is readily identifiable
  • Good:  resource is appropriate for use in more than one subject area
  • Very Good:  the lines between subjects are blurred 
Inquiry Learning Good
  • By watching the video and examining the pictures student see what happens with regards to water use in other countries and builds knowledge in that way
  • By mapping their school they create a new picture of what they already knew and make links relating to conservation
  • By working through an action scenario they discover an option for taking action
Inquiry Learning:

Learning is directed by questions, problems, or challenges that students work to address.   

  • Satisfactory: Students are provided with questions/problems to solve and some direction on how to arrive at solutions.
  • Good: students, assisted by the teacher clarify the question(s) to ask and the process to follow to arrive at solutions.  Sometimes referred to as Guided Inquiry
  • Very Good:  students generate the questions and assume much of the responsibility for how to solve them.  . Sometimes referred to as self-directed learning.


Differentiated Instruction Satisfactory
  • No accommodations are suggested for students with learning difficulties however a teacher could readily make such adaptations with this resource
Differentiated Instruction:

Activities address a range of student learning styles, abilities and readiness.

  • Satisfactory:  includes a variety of instructional approaches
  • Good: addresses  the needs of visual, auditory &  kinesthetic learners
  • Very Good: also includes strategies for learners with difficulties
Experiential Learning Satisfactory
Experiential Learning:

Authentic learning experiences are provided

  • Satisfactory: learning takes place through ‘hands-on’ experience or simulation
  • Good: learning involves direct experience in a ‘real world context’
  • Very good: learning involves ‘real world experiences’ taking place’ beyond the school walls.
Cooperative Learning Good
Cooperative Learning:

Group and cooperative learning strategies are a priority.

  • Satisfactory:  students work in groups
  • Good: cooperative learning skills are explicitly taught and practiced
  • Very Good: cooperative learning skills are explicitly taught, practiced and assessed
Assessment & Evaluation Poor/Not considered


  • There are no assessment suggestions
Assessment & Evaluation: Tools are provided that help students and teachers to capture formative and summative information about students' learning and performance. These tools may include reflection questions, checklists, rubrics, etc.
Peer Teaching Satisfactory
Peer Teaching:

Provides opportunities for students to actively present their knowledge and skills to peers and/or act as teachers and mentors.

  • Satisfactory: incidental teaching that arises from cooperative learning, presentations, etc.
  • Good or Very Good: an opportunity is intentionally created to empower students to teach other students/community members. The audience is somehow reliant on the students' teaching (students are not simply ‘presenting')
Case Studies Very Good
Case Studies:

Relevant case studies are included.  Case studies are thorough descriptions of real events from real situations that students use to explore  concepts in an authentic context.

Locus of Control Satisfactory
  • There is quite a bit of direction in the activities but still room for students to make many of their own decisions and interpretations
Locus of Control: Meaningful opportunities are provided for students to choose elements of program content, the medium in which they wish to work, and/or to go deeper into a chosen issue.