Teaching Conservation with the Water Footprint Calculator

Teaching Conservation with the Water Footprint Calculator

With our collection of tools, lesson plans and other content, students find out how water is necessary to make just about everything we eat, use and buy. It takes water to make our food, energy and consumer goods like clothing and electronics. In addition, we’ve included extra content about the connections between water and food, because globally, food is the largest water user and has a significant impact on our water resources. 
These water conservation activities provide teachers and other educators opportunities to help students understand their direct and virtual water use and learn to think globally about their impacts. 

Our Water Footprint Tools and Resources

Below is a selection of our tools and resources that can supplement your classroom water conservation activities. Please note that with the exception of the Aqua video and materials, our resources are best suited for middle school, high school and college students.

Teaching With Our Water Footprint Resources

Looking for water conservation lesson plans and other resources for the classroom?

Teachers use our free, downloadable middle and high school water conservation lesson plans to help students understand their water use.

Students take the Water Footprint Calculator, compare water footprints and discuss how they can reduce their water use.


Teachers give the presentation Beyond the Water Cycle: Teaching About Water Footprints to their students and then they discuss what it means to be a good global citizen with respect to water use.

Teachers use the water use issue pages to lead a discussion about where virtual water is used the most in food, energy and household products. Students discuss personal consumption and purchases.

Students choose three water saving tips and are challenged to implement them for one week, then discuss how they did.

Teaching About the Connections Between Water and Food

These activities help students understand the water use associated with the food they eat.


Students use the Water Footprint of Food Guide to compare the water footprints of their food and discuss how they can reduce their water use.

Teachers give the Water Footprint of Food Quiz to their students, they discuss their results and discuss what their answers mean in terms of water use and how they can do better.

Farm Animal

Students read the following posts, then discuss concepts like water footprints, feed conversion ratios and industrial vs. pastured production methods.

Students read the following posts about “algal blooms,” and discuss some of the unexpected food and water connections they learned about.