Project Overview

For this project, you will develop a presentation for a nonprofit water organization. The presentation is about the global water shortage crisis. You will need to describe the crisis and explain how governments and nongovernmental organizations have tried to address it. You will also consider the relationship between this crisis and various kinds of inequality. In addition, you will study how the media serves to raise awareness of the crisis.


In this project, you will demonstrate your mastery of the following competency:

  • Describe cross-cultural perspectives on a complex global issue



You work at the Division of Water Sourcing and Education (DOWSE). DOWSE is an international nonprofit water company concerned about regions where clean water is scarce or difficult to access. Your department handles the collection of global freshwater data, so it can direct new developments. Your department also collects information about the people affected by this growing water crisis.

DOWSE has been invited to give a presentation at a local science convention. Your supervisor, René Dey, has asked you to give this presentation. You should focus on how water scarcity, quality, and mismanagement affect cultures and politics around the world. You should also explain how these issues can lead to inequality and discrimination. Finally, you will need to address the role of media coverage in raising awareness about these issues.


Create a presentation about the water crisis that contains 8–10 slides. You may include a combination of graphics and text to support your message. You can record the presentation (7–10 minutes), or you can provide comprehensive speaker notes (750–1,000 words). If you choose to use speaker notes instead of recording, the notes should reflect what you would say in an audio or in-person presentation. The presentation should address the following:

  • Describe the water crisis and the actions local and global organizations are taking to address it.
  • Describe the effect of the water crisis on countries and cultures around the world. Also, describe whether this has caused inequality or discrimination in these countries.
  • Describe the role of governmental and nongovernmental organizations in addressing the water crisis around the world.
  • Discuss how the media portrays this complex global issue.

Read the articles in the Supporting Materials section and the Learning Resources to learn more about the water crisis. While conducting research, keep the following questions in mind:

  • How are cultural perspectives and facts presented?
  • Does socioeconomic status or income play a role in access to safe, reliable water sources?
  • Do gender, race, age, status, and other factors play a role in access to safe, reliable water sources?
  • Do different members of society play bigger roles in water collection or access than others?
  • How are governments organized in the regions affected by this crisis? Does this type of organization affect water management?
  • Does culture play a role in how water management decisions are made?
  • What issue(s) may have led to the water crisis in these regions? For example: poorly managed supplies, pollution, agriculture, population growth.
  • What sources did you use to gather this information?

What to Submit

Every project has a deliverable or deliverables, which are the files that must be submitted before your project can be assessed. For this project, you must submit the following:

For this project, you will submit a presentation (8–10 slides). You may record the presentation (7–10 minutes in length) or include speaker notes with your slides (about 750 to 1,000 words). You may include a combination of graphics and text to support your message.

Supporting Materials

The following resource(s) may help support your work on the project:
Need help citing your sources? Use the CfA Citation Guide and Citation Maker.

Reading: 7 Reasons We’re Facing a Global Water Crisis
This World Resources Institute article outlines seven causes of the global water crisis.

Reading: Water Wars
This podcast includes examples of places where freshwater has become more and more difficult to obtain. It also discusses the regional effects of this crisis. A written transcript of the podcast is available at the bottom of the page.

Reading: Cape Town Has a New Apartheid
This Washington Post article outlines the water crisis in Cape Town, South Africa. It describes what people there are doing to conserve water and avoid “Day Zero”: the day their city runs out of freshwater.

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