Globally, 90% of power generation is “water intense,” requiring large quantities of water to produce energy. By 2030, energy consumption will increase by 50%. Already, the increased severity of droughts, heat waves, and local water scarcity has interrupted electricity generation, with serious economic consequences. At the same time, constraints on available energy have limited the delivery of water.

Module 6: Water and Community

“The quality of water and the quality of life in all its infinite forms are critical parts of the overall, ongoing health of this planet of ours, not just here in the Amazon, but everywhere. … The hardest part of any big project is to begin. We have begun. We are underway. We have a passion. We want to make a difference.” – Sir Peter Blake 


Water is not only a product we buy or sell. Like the air we breathe, it is a natural resource that is essential for life. Because water is an element we share with our families, our communities, and every living thing on Earth, respect for all others is very important to consider when using water. Just as we may be challenged by our neighbors’ use of water, our neighbors are impacted by our actions. We share water with those who live both near and far from us. The same is true for trees and plants and animals of all kinds: we all share the same rainwater, surface water, and groundwater. 

The same river can run by houses and through communities, countries, and continents – carrying everything that was left behind for many months (upstream and downstream) – until it finds a bigger body of water, which could be another river, a lake, a sea, or an ocean. If the community close to the river does not have a good water treatment system, all the other communities along the way will be affected and can face severe consequences. 

Thematic concepts

Shared waters

A cooperative approach to advance peace, secure environmental protection, and enhance better water management to promote sustainable development in communities worldwide 


Hydropower refers to harnessing the energy of water to generate electricity, and is used to supply about 20% of the world’s electricity

Upstream and downstream

Because most rivers cross community boundaries, cooperation is necessary to share the water resources of a trans-boundary river basin between upstream and downstream users with different and sometimes conflicting needs, claims, and cultures


Water and trees
Activity Time: 50 minutes Activity Thematic Areas: Science, Mathematics, Social Studies, Environmental Education
Creating a waterwheel
Activity Time: 50 minutes Activity Thematic Areas: Science, Social Studies
The watershed
Activity Time: 50 minutes Activity Thematic Areas: Science, Social Studies