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March 2010 Newsletter
Remember Waterworld, that Kevin Costner film? Me neither; it was a famous box office flop. But that doesn't change the fact that we live on a blue planet. We humans, especially, need fresh water to survive and thrive—our bodies are made up of approximately 60% water, and we use it every day for food, energy, sanitation, and more. Yet, just one percent of the Earth's water is available as usable fresh water. Learn more below and find five new ways to reduce your use.
Geography Awareness Week, November 14–20, 2010
Geography Awareness Week logoThe theme of Geography Awareness Week (GAWeek) 2010 is…drum roll, please…freshwater! We are excited to take you on a journey exploring the geography of our world’s freshwater systems.

As we gear up for the third week of November, we’ll spend the coming months gathering the best resources we can find for learning about this fascinating topic at school, at home, and in the community. There will be maps: brand-new tile maps focused on world water systems, print maps, and online interactive maps. There will be books, games, and quizzes. And, of course, there will be opportunities to get involved conserving fresh water.

But you can start right now! Our GAWeek 2010 theme supports a larger National Geographic initiative protecting Earth’s most vital resource. In recognition of World Water Day, National Geographic magazine will offer a free interactive version of its April single-topic issue, Water: Our Thirsty World. Between March 22 and April 2, anyone can visit nationalgeographic.com/freshwater to download the April issue for free. In addition to all the material in the print issue, readers of the digital issue will get animated images, photo slide shows, and more.

We encourage you to take advantage of the special, limited-time offer. Until March 22, you can navigate water online through National Geographic’s freshwater portal.

Our March Challenge: Try just 5 of these 100 Ways to Save Water this month, and tell us on the blog how it went!
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World's Longest Toilet Queue
Want to join a Guinness World Records attempt that is fun and funny while striving to create real change? Take a stand for water sanitation and join the queue (waiting line) online. Simply choose a colorful icon to represent yourself and a message—mine says, "Everyone has the right to taps and toilets." You will be added to a virtual global queue of water rights advocates.
Take Action
National Environmental Education Week logoNational Environmental Education Week
Our nation's water and energy resources are increasingly important topics of discussion, not just in the news, but also in classrooms and homes. Recognizing the importance of conserving both water and energy to protect the planet and reduce costs—and acknowledging the connection between water and energy—the theme of Environmental Education Week 2010 (EE Week) is be water and energy wise.

In addition to EE Week's library of resources and curricula on water and energy, there is also a new resource page for educators on the water-energy connection. The connection is complex, but it provides an excellent opportunity to get young people thinking about the interrelatedness of ecological and environmental concerns. Take advantage of special offers when you register today for EE Week, April 11–17: eeweek.org.
  Read more >
Take Action
World Water Day logoIt's a Watery World
March 22 is World Water Day. The 2010 theme is clean water for a healthy world. An initiative first launched by the United Nations at the 1992 Conference on Environment and Development in Rio de Janeiro, the UN has since declared 2005–2015 the Water for Life decade. Become a water hero! Visit the UN website to download the international advocacy guide with tips for developing your water message, working with the media, assessing your impact, and more.It's a great resource to start planning your outreach from now through Geography Awareness Week in November.

Check out the United States World Water Day site for even more illuminating facts about water, information on local events, and ways to get involved. Learn how global warming could affect water sanitation, and get all the resources you need to write a letter to your representatives or attend a rally for water!
  Read more >
Take Action
Making the Water-Energy Connection
Have you ever wondered how far your water travels from its source to your kitchen faucet? Or thought about the energy required to heat the water for your shower? Did you know that water is a key ingredient in the process of producing electricity from coal and other thermoelectric energy sources?

Tune in to the blog to hear how science, social studies, and arts teachers are making the water-energy connection, and how you can participate in a free EE Week webinar. Jessica Culverhouse, program manager for National Environmental Education Week, joins us this week as a guest blogger to give you the scoop.
  Read more >
Hot This Month
Test Your Water Sense
Flo logoRemember Pac-Man®? Test Your Water Sense is a fun computer game modeled after the 1980s classic, which teaches children about water conservation. Players must avoid water-wasting monsters Drip Drip, Drainiac, Swirly, and Sogosaurus as they navigate a maze. At each of four water spots—sink, toilet, sprinkler, and water glass—kids have to correctly answer questions about water conservation to proceed. Play with your child, and help him or her be a water winner!
Thacher Award
Thatcher Award logoThe 2010 Thacher Awards invite secondary school students (grades 9–12) to demonstrate the best use of satellites and other geospatial technologies or data to study Earth. Visit the award website to submit your project application by the April 5 deadline, and to see profiles of previous winners. Eligible tools and data include satellite remote sensing, aerial photography, geographic information systems, and Global Positioning System.
Bizarre Maps: Last Chance to Win $5,000!
Bizarre Map Challenge logoDon’t miss your chance to enter the Bizarre Map Challenge; the contest deadline is March 22. Though all maps in this competition must use real-world data, successful entries will employ unusual techniques, illustrate bizarre topics, or exhibit striking patterns. High school and college students can win as much as $5,000; a world-renowned panel of judges will help choose the winner.
Written in Water
Written in Water cover artWritten in Water: Messages of Hope for Earth's Most Precious Resource comprises a collection of essays from a broad range of people who have contributed their hearts and minds to conserving Earth's freshwater supply. It is a great read for older students seeking to understand the environmental and social effects of fresh water, and who are looking to be inspired by potential solutions. Order your copy today from the National Geographic store.
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