Water

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SDG6: Clean Water and Sanitation - Learning Resource supports the SDGS - UN-Guidelines[1]


Water is an inorganic chemical compound with the molecular formula H2O. This learning resource starts with an example of a Solar Seawater Still (SSS) and guides the learner through chemical and physical properties that are necessary to understand SSS, refers to sea water and drinking water in the example and introduces to the effects of pollution of water on health. Further readings to that

Subtopics[edit]

Desalination – Solar Seawater Still (SSS)[edit]

Prototype of Solar Seawater Still

Desalination – Solar Seawater Still (SSS): Water is a precious resource especially in dry areas. In hot and dry areas the sun provides the heat for evaporation. On the right can be seen a diagram of a seawater still, that distills fresh water from salty seawater.

  • Explain how a Solar Seawater Still works!
  • Analyse the background of Solar Stills and suggest improvements to the setup (e.g. fresh water collector directly under the seawater container).
  • Measure temperature differences in soil according to depth (underground). If the temperature difference is high between surface temperature and depth of fresh water collector condensation works better. Try to build your own Solar Still and collect data about the amount of fresh water retrieved from the SSS per hour with certain environmental conditions.
  • Upload snapshots about your Solar Seawater Still (SSS) on Wikiversity and explain how you collected data with your experimental design.
  • Look for areas on the globe, where your Solar Seawarter Still could be applied (availability of seawater, not enough or contaminated freshwater, temperature conditions).
  • (Windpump and Seawater Transport) With wind energy sea water could be transported from coastal areas to hot arid zones, that have no direct access to seawater. Analyse possibilities of transporting sea water to hot desert regions on the globe. Does that extend the geographical areas of application for your SSS? Create an SSS application map with OpenLayers, which shows areas on a heatmap[2] where the areas in red are the hot areas which can benefit from Solar Seawater Stills.
  • (Solar Water DISinfection SODIS) Compare the concept of an Solar Still with Solar Water Disinfection[3][4]! What are similarities and differences between those concepts?
SODIS application in Indonesia using clear PET plastic beverage bottles
Sea Water as a Resource for Drinking Water
Windpump tjasker used in the Netherlands for drainage. Apply on seawater transport from coastal regions
A multi-bladed windpump on a farm in Iowa
A windpump is a type of windmill which is used for pumping water. Water transport by Wind. The image shows the windpump De Olifant at Burdaard, Friesland


Chemical and Physical properties[edit]

Analyse the chemical and physical properties of water and explain why they are relevant to the comprehension of the Solar Water Still.

Effects of Water on Life[edit]

Study the effects of water on life. The Solar Water Still is just one method to provide the necessary water for life.

  • What other sources of water exist to allow plants and animals to survive?
  • Where is water necessary in the life cycle of plants and animals? Explain in detail according to biological background knowledge!

Health and Pollution[edit]

Solar Water Still for treatment of polluted water

Water pollution of different types create a risk for human, animal and environmental health. Learn about Risk Management and apply that to water pollution and health. Pharmaceuticals are helpful in health services, but it is also a difficult task to remove them from waste water[5] (see also Water:Health and Pollution). Analyse the Solar Water Still in the image on right and try to explain why water can be considered as having been treated by the solar water still. Can this water be used for a greenhouse? Explain how to deal with the polluted water in the upper water container.

Sustainable Development Goals[edit]

Analyse the United Nations' concept of Sustainable Development Goals.

  • A preliminary approach will provide two SDGs which seem to refer to water. Systems Thinking applied on the topic of water will lead to many more SDGs which are effected by water. Try to analyse every single SDG and explain how water plays a role in the accomplishment of these goals.

Disaster Management[edit]

Extreme events due to climate change cause a higher probability of flood events. Flooding needs to be responded by disaster management. Capacity building will focus on modelling of flood events, planning response and preparedness activities and learning how space technology with freely available services (e.g. Copernicus) could support risk management strategies.

Learning Task[edit]

Map of the Earth with a six-metre sea level rise represented in red.

This learning resource focuses on how water is important for life on earth.

  • (Water Resources) There is a lot of water on earth but drinking water is scarce.
    • Determine the percentage of water available on earth, that can be used as drinking water.
    • Analyse the over-exploitation of water and link commercial exploitation of ground water to access to water for the local populace.
    • Analyse the contamination of drinking water on earth. Explain sources of contamination of this precious resource -- drinking water.
  • (Global Warming) An important fraction of drinking water (find out how much) is locked in the polar ice and ice in glaciers.
    • Try to find out how much drinking water we might lose if global warming causes the polar ice and the ice in glaciers to melt.
    • Perform a basic Risk Management for regions on earth which might be affected by a rise in the mean sea levels. What part of this coastal population, might this rise in sea levels, compel to migrate inland to higher ground?
    • Explain the impact of water evaporation in the context of global warming[6].
  • (Mapping of Risk and Resources) Water is a precious resource that is necessary for survival of flora and fauna on earth.
  • (Chemical Formula) The following questions analyse the topic "water" from the angle of chemistry:
    • Why is this inorganic compound with the molecular formula H2O so stable?
    • If you burn hydrogen heat is generated (Link History: Zeppelin Hindenburg at Lake Hurst) and the product is water. Why is heat generated? What lighted the hydrogen in the Zeppelin, so that water was generated? Why could the generated water not extinguish the fire in the exploding Zeppelin?
    • You can generate water by using hydrogen and oxygen in a fuel cell. This electrochemical cell converts the chemical energy from a fuel into electricity through an electrochemical reaction. Analyse the chemical processes. How can this concept be employed for Electric Mobility? Analyse the quantity of water production and determine whether that concept will be able to produce water as a resource.
    • Explore why water exists on our planet in such great abundance, in contrast to the far less quantity of gold! The answer to this question could lead, via Physics to the Big Bang!
  • (Saline) Look at the Salines e.g. in France and combine the concept with Solar Water Still and get economic impact.

Information for Teachers[edit]

water condensation in a Wok

Target Groups[edit]

  • (Primary Schools) Explore water evaporation and condensation in a pot on a stove. This can be explored by a video recorded with a smartphone in the kitchen and shared/presented on a data projector in school. Pupils should explain what they observe. Use salty water in pot and condensed water. Taste of cold salted water should be compared with the taste of collected condensed water (taste the salt removal).
  • (Secondary Schools) Explore physical and chemical properties of water according to evaporation and condensation (curriculum). Energy consumption of the stove. Refer to Solar Water Still and Green Energy.
  • (Engineering) Optimize technical design of Solar Water Still.
  • (Physics University) Modelling of Fresh Water production of Solar Water Still (Bachelor of Science).
  • (Teacher Education Mathematics) Mathematical Modelling, train teachers to apply SDG assigned learning resources and develop them (see Reader2Author)

Resources[edit]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. UN-Guidelines for Use of SDG logo and the 17 SDG icons (2016/10) - http://www.un.org/sustainabledevelopment/wp-content/uploads/2016/10/UN-Guidelines-for-Use-of-SDG-logo-and-17-icons.October-2016.pdf
  2. OpenLayers Heatmap - API Documentation (accessed 2017/09/12) - https://openlayers.org/en/latest/apidoc/ol.layer.Heatmap.html - Heatmap Example: http://openlayers.org/en/latest/examples/heatmap-earthquakes.html?q=Heatmap
  3. Wegelin, M., Canonica, S., Mechsner, K., Fleischmann, T., Pesaro, F., & Metzler, A. (1994). Solar water disinfection: scope of the process and analysis of radiation experiments. Aqua, 43(4), 154-169.
  4. SODIS Solar Disinfection - Web Portal - (accessed 2017/09/11) - http://www.sodis.ch/index_EN
  5. Ternes, T. A., Meisenheimer, M., McDowell, D., Sacher, F., Brauch, H. J., Haist-Gulde, B., ... & Zulei-Seibert, N. (2002). Removal of pharmaceuticals during drinking water treatment. Environmental science & technology, 36(17), 3855-3863.
  6. Held, I. M., & Soden, B. J. (2000). Water vapor feedback and global warming. Annual review of energy and the environment, 25(1), 441-475.