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Water Footprint Calculator


6th, 7th, 8th, 9th, 10th, 11th, 12th, AP® / College


Science, Social Studies, Biology, Earth and Space Sciences, Economics

Resource Type

  • Presentation Slides

Regional Focus

Global, North America, United States



Water Resources and Water Footprints

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  • This downloadable presentation is a great introduction to the topic of water resources, as it details the distribution of water on Earth, the types of water use, water use by country, and virtual water consumption.
  • Students will learn about how water is used around the world, the trading of water through economic products, and the difference between blue, green, and grey water. 
Teaching Tips


  • This resource provides a thorough overview of how water is distributed and used globally.
  • Students will benefit from the graphics and chart features included in the resource.

Additional Prerequisites

  • There are accompanying Teaching Notes that can be used with this slideshow.
  • Students should be familiar with the terms water footprint and water resources.


  • Connections can be made in health classes considering the importance of water to human health and nutrition, geography classes learning about global resources, and economics or social studies classes learning about globalization, global trade, and food security.
  • This is a great introductory presentation to use before having students calculate their own water footprints or research the water footprints of various foods.
  • As an extension, have students consider ways in which they could reduce their water consumption, either at a personal, household, or community level.
Scientist Notes
This resource underscores global water footprints across different sectors including agriculture, industry, domestic, hydropower, etc. It presents an outlook of global water use to guide individuals, households, and decision makers on the importance of water resources and conservation. Above all, the resource is well-sourced and is recommended for teaching.
  • Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS)
    • ESS3: Earth and Human Activity
      • MS-ESS3-4 Construct an argument supported by evidence for how increases in human population and per-capita consumption of natural resources impact Earth's systems.
      • HS-ESS3-1 Construct an explanation based on evidence for how the availability of natural resources, occurrence of natural hazards, and changes in climate have influenced human activity.
  • College, Career, and Civic Life (C3) Standards
    • Dimension 2: Economics
      • D2.Eco.2.6-8 Evaluate alternative approaches or solutions to current economic issues in terms of benefits and costs for different groups and society as a whole.
  • Common Core English Language Arts Standards (CCSS.ELA)
    • Reading: Science & Technical Subjects (6-12)
      • CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.RST.6-8.10 By the end of grade 8, read and comprehend science/technical texts in the grades 6-8 text complexity band independently and proficiently.
      • CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.RST.9-10.1 Cite specific textual evidence to support analysis of science and technical texts, attending to the precise details of explanations or descriptions.
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