001 - Water scarcity

Geographic knowledge and understanding

Physical and economic water scarcity, and the factors that control these including the causes and impact of droughts; the distinction between water quantity and water quality.


Those places in the world that  have the possibility to control the quality and quantity of water that their population has access to will hold the power in the future.

Aims of the lesson

Key Terminology

Define the words above using the 'Our Planet's Freshwater' textbook by Codrington and the 'useful links below'.

Useful Links

Activity One - Describe

Water is a fundamental resource for human survival and without it we will die. We are investigating water scarcity as it is increasingly becoming a global issue even for countries who are perceived to have a lot of water.  The South East of England is often in drought despite the fact that it rains on average once every three days. As you are now aware economic and physical water scarcity are different but they can often go hand in hand in some areas of the world. 

Activity Two - Drought

The term drought is often banded about but what does it really mean? 

 Useful Resources

Understanding Drought

Australia - Bureau of Meteorology

Surviving Drought


Activity Three - Differences

When discussing water we often think about too much or too little but we don't often mention the quality. We live in the 'Water Tower' of Europe where are water is clean and plentiful but for some gaining access to safe, clean drinking water is a daily struggle. Watch the youtube clip below to gain an idea of the problems that some people in the world when discussing water.

Useful Resources

How long can you go without safe drinking water


When is water safe to drink?


Exam Style Question

‘You could suffer from being economically water scarce in the wettest place in the world.’ Discuss this statement using a range of examples. [10 marks]

This lesson was development in collaboration with Richard Allaway from geographyalltheway. For more resources please visit www.geographyalltheway.com