Water is amazing stuff – nothing on Earth can live without it. Did you know the water we use today is the same water that was used by the dinosaurs? Find out more about water’s properties and why it’s so important in our watery webquest, which celebrates World Water Day (22nd March) and is free to all onestopenglish users.

Photo of water, can be symbolic or the photo of an actual body of water.

Source: Rosley Majid / EyeEm, Getty Images


Activity 1: Water facts – take the quiz

Working in pairs, try to answer the questions.

1. The percentage of the human body that is made of water is …

    a. … 40%.     b. … 60%.    c. … 80%.    d. … 90%.

2. Water covers how much of the Earth’s surface?

   a. 50%    b. 60%    c. 70%    d. 80%

3. The chemical name for water is …

   a. …HO2. b. …O2. c. …HO.    d. …H2 O.

4. Water can be changed into different states by changing its temperature. Name the three forms it can exist in.

   1. ________________________     2. ________________________     3. ________________________

5. Water is heavier than … (two are correct)

   a. …stone.    b. …wood.    c. …plastic.    d. …gold.

6. How much water do humans need to drink a day to live?

   a. 0.5 litres    b. 2 litres    c. 3 litres    d. 4 litres

7. We get a lot of water from food. What percentage of an egg is made up of water?

   a. 50%    b. 60%    c. 75%    d. 80%

8. Most fruit is how much water?

   a. 50%    b. 70%    c. 80%    d. 90%

9. People can live without food for two months. How long can they live without water?

   a. 2 days    b. 4 days    c. 7 days    d. 10 days

10. How much water do people in developed countries use each day?

   a. 50 litres    b. 100 litres    c. 250 litres    d. 300 litres

11. How much of the water we use each day is for drinking?

   a. 1%    b. 3%    c. 5%    d. 10%   

Now go to www.explainthatstuff.com/water.html and check your answers.

Activity 2: Where do we keep water?

We can’t drink water we find in the forest – we have to make sure it is safe. This is done by storing the water we want to use and then making sure it’s clean.

Storing and treating water

Go to: https://www.scottishwater.co.uk/help-and-resources/education/all-about-water/water-treatment

Read the page, and complete the chart.

1. Where is drinking water stored?


2. Where do you find reservoirs?


3. How is a reservoir made?


4. How do they control the water leaving the reservoir?


5. What else is in the water in lakes and reservoirs?


6. How are natural reservoirs made?


7. What kind of rock is good for this?


8. What is the name for this special kind of underground storage rock?


9. How do you get the water out?


10. Why do they need to treat water?


Water treatment

It’s very easy to turn on the tap for a glass of clean water, but what happens to it first? Click on the link under the heading ‘How is water treated?’ to find the answers. Then match the stages of water treatment below (1–6) to their descriptions (a–f).

1. raw water
2. screening
3. clarification
4. filtration
5. disinfection
6. pH adjustment

a. This stage removes any diseases from the water.
b. Debris is removed.
c. The acidity of the water is checked and adjusted.
d. Any remaining impurities are removed.
e. The water is purified.
f. Water is kept in reservoirs.

How does water get to your home? Go back to the previous web page and complete the sentences.

1. The water is treated in the ________________________________________________.

2. Then, it is taken by big pipes called ________________________ to your road. They are buried ________________________.

3. Water from the road supply comes into your house by a ________________________.

4. The water coming to your house is controlled by a valve called a ________________________.

Activity 3: Water for health

We all know we need to drink water to stay alive. If we don’t drink enough water, it can cause health problems.

Go to: https://www.scottishwater.co.uk/help-and-resources/education/all-about-water/water-for-life

Read the statements, and decide if they are true (T) or false (F).

1. Not drinking enough water can cause headaches.

2. Drinking water helps you think clearly.

3. Water has few calories.

4. There is no water inside your bones.

5. We need water to help use the food we eat.

6. The blood passes through the kidneys five times a day.

7. The kidneys use water to clean the blood.

8. People die after about 21 days if the kidneys don’t clean the blood.

9. Water stops the body getting too hot.

10. Drinking enough water reduces the amount of salt in our bodies.

Activity 4: Saving water

Only 1% of the Earth’s water is available for people, plants and animals to use. So we need to use it carefully and not waste it.

Think of some ideas on how to save water and make notes of your ideas - you could put them in a table, like the one below. 

 your ideasmore ideas

saving water in the kitchen


saving water in the bathroom


saving water in the garden


Now, follow the links below, read the tips, and add some more ideas to your list.

saving water in the kitchen: https://swazurecms.scottishwater.co.uk/your-home/save-water/saving-water-in-the-kitchen

saving water in the bathroom: https://swazurecms.scottishwater.co.uk/your-home/save-water/saving-water-in-the-bathroom

saving water in the garden: https://swazurecms.scottishwater.co.uk/your-home/save-water/saving-water-in-the-garden

Activity 5: Irrigation

Now, we’re going to think about one of the most important uses of water – for growing food. When farmers use extra water (other than rain) to grow crops, this is called irrigation.

Simple irrigation

Go to https://quatr.us/west-asia/irrigation-farming-history.htm and complete the sentences with the missing words.

1. In some places, farmers don’t have to worry about carrying water to the plants – this is called ________________________.

2. In places like Egypt, there is very little ________________________. Farmers have to get water to the fields from the river. This is called ________________________. They have to use irrigation.

3. The simplest method is to carry it in ________________________. However, this is very ________________________ work. Or you can use an animal like a ________________________ or an ________________________.

4. People use machines, such as a ________________________ or a ________________________, to lift water.

Irrigation in developed countries

In developed countries, there are other methods.

Go to water.usgs.gov/edu/irmethods.html and complete the chart.

methodhow it worksgood pointsbad points

flood or furrow irrigation


drip irrigation


Activity 6: Helping people get fresh water

Many groups are helping people in developing countries get fresh water to improve their lives.

Let’s find out how one group is helping.

Go to www.wateraid.org/uk/facts-and-statisticsWrite down one fact for each of the following points:

  • number of people with no access to clean water close to home
  • number of people without a proper toilet
  • number of children who die every two minutes from dirty water  and poor toilets
  • percentage of schools with no clean water
  • number of school days lost because of dirty water

Activity 7: Project: How much water do you use?

Water calculator

Follow the link. Answer the questions to find out how much water your family uses.



Find out how much water your family and friends use on a normal day. First write a questionnaire asking them how often they use the dishwasher, bath, shower, kettle and so on, using the ideas and information from activity 4 and the water calculator activity above. Then ask family and friends your questions, noting down their answers.


Present the results of your survey in the form of a poster – you can use bar charts, 


Click link to download and view these files