Background Information

Resources & Links

Research Project Back to overview

On this page Videos Articles & Links Expert list

We provide these resources to help you start your Project research, but do not limit yourselves to the list below.  Remember that your library, school, local government, museum, park district, or activity center may have a lot of information to share about learning. Contacting professionals is also a good way to learn about the topic.

Some of these resources were designed for adults. Do not be afraid to ask a Coach or Mentor for help if some of the material does not make sense or some vocabulary is too difficult. Discussing the work of others can help everyone understand the topic better – team members and Coaches alike.

Title Author /Publisher
How Did That Get to My House? Water Nancy Robinson Masters, Cherry Lake Publishing (2014)
What's Up® With Conserving Water

Channing Bete Company

National Geographic Kids: Water

Melissa Stewart, National Geographic Society (2014)



National Science Foundation – Environmental Engineer: Profiles of Scientists and Engineers: An environmental engineer shows us how she researches and plans the best ways to satisfy both human and environmental needs. Find out what it's like to be an environmental engineer.

The University of Maryland, Baltimore County (UMBC) – What do Environmental Engineers do?: What do Environmental Engineers do? Learn more and watch this video!

The Open University: Fresh Water Filtration: Water Supply and Treatment in the UK: See the multi-stage treatment process river water goes through before it comes out of our taps.

The Open University: Waste Water Filtration: Water Supply and Treatment in the UK: Learn more about  the processes at a sewage works and the types of waste water treated.

City of Winnipeg – Virtual Tour of a Drinking Water Treatment Plant: Watch a virtual tour of the treatment steps at a new drinking water treatment plant.

City of Grand Island, Nebraska – Wastewater Treatment Plant Tour - "Flush to Finish": Follow a wastewater treatment plant tour.

The Water Project – YouTube Channel: On this channel you learn a lot about water projects to help people.® – YouTube Channel: On this channel you can see new ideas how to solve the water problem in the developing world.

National Science Foundation Science 360 – Transformational Building Design Energizes Water Recycling: Learn more about ideas how to make greywater reusable.

Websites & Articles

Aquapedia: Check out the Aquapedia or Water Topics sections of the Water Education Foundation website to learn about water topics in California, USA and beyond.

Calculate Your Water Footprint: Answer some questions to estimate how much water you really use every day (and learn some fun facts along the way). You might be surprised by what you discover!

Learn About Water: The US Environmental Protection Agency provides resources to learn about bodies of water, drinking water, wastewater, and water quality.

Water Science Glossary of Terms: The United State Geological Service (USGS) has a list of water-related terms that might help you understand our water resources.

Melbourne Water: Melbourne (Australia) Water has numerous resources that describe the water supply, infrastructure and resources.

The World Bank’s Water Global Practice: Launched in 2014, the World Bank’s Water Global Practice site discusses the knowledge and implementation of water projects from around the world.

The UN and Water:  This United Nations sites explores the global crisis caused by insufficient water supply to satisfy basic human needs and growing demands on the world’s water resources to meet human, commercial and agricultural needs.

National Geographic’s Environment: Freshwater Site: This site includes numerous case studies from around the world to help you understand the global challenges faced in finding and protecting water for human use.

The Water Sustainability and Climate Project (WSC) at the University of Wisconsin-Madison: The Water Sustainability and Climate Project (WSC) at the University of Wisconsin-Madison is an integrated effort to understand how water and the many other benefits people derive from nature could change over time. The project is focused on the Yahara Watershed in southern Wisconsin, but has many scenarios and case studies that are useful for exploring a variety of water issues.

What is an Environmental Engineer?:'s site contains information about environmental science education and careers, as well as vetted research on water and other environmental issues.

Water Resources Research Center, University of Arizona: A research and extension unit of the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences, the WRRC is the designated state water resources research center for Arizona established under the 1964 Federal Water Resources Research Act. The site has a wealth of resources for teachers and students on all types of water resource issues.

National Academy of Engineering (NAE): The NAE has compiled a list of fourteen “Grand Challenges for Engineering.” Providing access to clean water for the one out of every six people living today who do not have adequate access to water, and the one out of every three who lack basic sanitation, for which water is needed, has been designated as a “grand challenge.”  This site contains resources and videos that describe the global nature of these issues.

US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA): The water topics page of the US EPA site provides detailed information on preventing water contamination, water treatment and water conservation.

The Water Project: The Water Project is an organization that tries to find solutions to the local water problems in Africa. Their web site contains information about the challenges faced by many African communities, and the innovative way that these challenges are being met.

The Water Project: Teaching Tools & Resources: This Water Project site has numerous lesson plans for grade K-12 students.  The topics include water scarcity, contamination and the local solutions used by people in Africa to solve these difficulties.®: is a non-profit dedicated to finding clean water and sanitation solutions for communities in Africa, Asia, Latin America and the Caribbean.  This site has case studies and other resources that detail the struggle to maintain a reliable source of clean drinking water in many parts of the world.

Expert list

Ask an expert

Talking with professionals (people who work in the field of this year’s Challenge theme) is a great way for your team to:

  • Learn more about this season’s theme,
  • find ideas for your HYDRO DYNAMICSSM problem,
  • discover resources that might help with your research, and
  • get feedback on your innovative solution.

Examples of Professionals

Consider contacting people who work in the following professions. See if your team can brainstorm any other jobs to add to the list. Many company, professional association, government, and university websites include contact information for professionals.



What they do

Where they may work

Civil engineer

Civil engineers design, build, supervise, operate, and maintain large-scale infrastructure projects including dams, bridges, and systems for water supply and sewage treatment.

Government offices, private companies

Environmental compliance specialist

Environmental compliance specialists help ensure that companies and governments follow laws and regulations designed to protect water, the environment and natural resources.  Most compliance specialists work for governments, but there are many who also work for private companies.

Government offices, departments of public health, private companies that must ensure compliance with laws and regulations

Environmental engineer

Environmental engineers use engineering, soil science, biology, and chemistry to develop solutions to environmental and natural resource problems.

government offices, private companies that must ensure compliance with laws and regulations


A hydrologist is a scientist who studies how water flows and interacts with the Earth.

Government agencies, universities, environmental consulting companies

Public utilities director or manager

Utilities directors oversee the distribution of potable water, the collection of wastewater, and water treatment systems for a city or region.

Usually local government offices, or water/ wastewater districts that represent several cities or towns

Water treatment plant manager

Water treatment plant managers run facilities designed to improve the quality of water.  Water treatment plants generally fall into two broad categories: those that make potable water for distribution to homes and businesses, and those that treat wastewater before it is returned to the environment.

Usually local government offices, or water/ wastewater districts that represent several cities or towns