This unit examines water rights, conflict over freshwater, and potential for water wars in a context for the high school history or social studies classroom. Activities in the unit include investigating historical examples of conflict over water as well as potential areas of conflict. In addition, the unit contains resources for examining initiatives by United Nations agencies to advocate for clean water as a basic human right and monitor global water quantity and quality. In addition to reading and discussion activities, student outcomes include participating in a water rights simulation game and completing a guided research project (with an exit presentation) on an international water rights case. The scientific, quantitative, and cultural components to freshwater water rights issues allows the unit to be adapted to interdisciplinary work in the core subjects of social studies, science, math, and English.
(Developed for World History and History, grade 9, and International Relations and Social Studies, grades 10-12; recommended for World History, History, International Relations, and Social Studies, grades 9-12)