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2014 WAC Theme – Water, water, water!

Water is life – for better or worse!   Across the globe, people and countries are vexed with lack of fresh water, drought and famine, water-borne disease, flooding, and conflict over the possession of this precious natural resource.  On the flip side, water can provide health, electrical power, crops and forests, and commerce near and far.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAThe 2014 WAC challenges your school and team to select a problem and posit a solution for some concern that involves water on an international scale.  Here are steps for your problem identification and solution:

  • How do international organizations concerned with sustainable development address water issues?
    • Consider how they might do this directly or indirectly.
    • For instance, an organization might not have WATER in its name, but it nonetheless works with communities or partners with other organizations to ensure access to this resource for a holistic approach to a good, healthy life.
  • Do these organizations collaborate to refine their approaches to water challenges?
    • How do they know when they’ve found effective and efficient solutions?
  • Which Denver-based international organizations address waterand sustainable development?
    • Do they partner with organizations elsewhere?
    • What strategies have they for working well with communities, even of different cultures, speaking other languages, and located 10,000 miles away?
  • What specifically is “the water angle” of these local organizations?
    • Remember to consider direct and indirect angles.
    • And what particular knowledge has Colorado on effective uses of water?
    • Or for that matter, what has Colorado to learn from communities and countries elsewhere on our use of water?  Imagine a young girl in Malawi carrying water from a riverbed to her village.  Can you begin to think of what she might have to say about water?

At the Posner Center for International Development, there are fifty-five organizations full of innovators focused on global poverty solutions.  The 2014 WAC will facilitate your school’s visit to this remarkable Center, a recently renovated 1882 City of Denver horse barn for the original trolley system before we relied on pistons, trams, and then automobiles.  As part of your preparation for this year’s 8 March High School and 5 April Middle School events on the Regis University campus, WAC will arrange and announce visits to the Horse Barn when you can meet with and ask questions of some of these tenants.  Start making your list of questions now!  Remember, this year’s “Water, Water, Water” theme is both about a natural resource (water) and a human capability (collaboration).  So you might ask something along these lines, but refine the questions you come up with yourselves!

  • How critical is the art and skill of collaboration among the
  • se organizations?
  • How does an organization (or people for that matter) even begin to acquire this gift?
  • How well do these Denver-based organizations collaborate in designing and implementing effective water projects that benefit the world’s poor?
  • How might they achieve keener, even more inventive, solutions in their water work?
  • What have Coloradoans to learn about water and collaboration from the rest of the world?


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