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Message in a $20 Bottle (of Water)

Written by Zoe Weil | Published on August 13, 2013 | Filed under Humane Connection
The content that follows was originally published on the Institute for Humane Education website at http://humaneeducation.org/blog/2013/08/13/message-20-bottle-of-water/

555375_10151371655729036_1099590037_nTake a look at this Los Angeles Times article.

Then take a look at The Story of Water video.

Then do a bit of investigation on the Internet about fresh drinking water – its history, current availability in different countries, the threats to its abundance and accessibility, the depletion of aquifers, desertification.

There’s a lot to learn about this essential fluid, without which we cannot live for more than a couple of days. And there’s a lot to teach our children, who will be the stewards of fresh water for a growing population.

Here are some questions about water that I believe students should learn to ask and answer as global citizens:

  • What are the threats to fresh drinking water?
  • What are our responsibilities for ensuring access to safe water for all people? All species?
  • Does the bottling and transportation of water from distant regions to wealthy, industrialized regions affect the accessibility of water for those at its source? Does it affect them in other ways? How?
  • What are the effects of bottling and transporting water on other animals and the environment?
  • What personal choices about drinking water do you believe are aligned with your values?
  • What systems need to change to ensure that all generations of people and animals retain access to safe drinking water?

Among the subjects that could be taught and enriched by asking and answering the questions above are:

    • Math
    • All sciences
    • Language arts
    • History
    • Social studies
    • Economics
    • Geography
    • Psychology
    • Art and design
    • Foreign language
    • Health

Learning and teaching for a healthy, just and sustainable world can begin with a sip of water.