Module 6:
Water and Community

Shared waters, upstream and downstream

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 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 

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



Time: 50 minutesGoal for Learning: Understand the importance of trees to our daily lives.


Time: 50 minutesGoal for Learning: Provide knowledge on how water generates energy.


Time: 50 minutesGoal for Learning: Show how all communities in a watershed are interconnected through the water.