The DRY and About Drought projects have collaborated on creating resources that promote awareness of UK drought and awareness of positive water behaviours for children and teachers. These have been informed by research from the NERC Drought and Water Scarcity programme.

We have produced seven sets of resources to support learning based on knowledge gained from the DRY project:

(1) The DRY Primary Book – DRY Diary of a Water Superhero – for Key Stage 2. Read how an ordinary schoolgirl in the UK transforms into a water superhero when a DRY summer is followed by a DRY winter. Join her as she shares her new found love of water with her family, school and community when the drought continues to progress into a second DRY summer.

The book, its concept and storyline were co-produced by Prof Lindsey McEwen, Luci Gorell Barnes, Dr Verity Jones, Sarah Whitehouse and Dr Sara Williams.  Illustrations are by Luci Gorell Barnes.

The English version of the e-book is available here: https://issuu.com/uwebristol/docs/dry_the_diary_of_a_water_superhero

The Welsh version of the e-book is available here: https://issuu.com/uwebristol/docs/sych_dyddiadur_arwres_ddwr

The book is also free to download: English version here and Welsh version here

In order to continue developing these resources, we would appreciate it if you could take a look at the resources and feedback your views on its impact in the class room through our online survey: https://dryutility.info/survey It will only take 15 minutes to complete and will have a great impact on our future work. If you tweet, please share a photograph of the book being used in your school, using the #DRYPrimarybook. 

(2) Teachers’ Notes which accompany the DRY Primary Book are available (in English) here. Natural Resources Wales have translated the Teachers’ notes and aligned them to the Welsh curriculum – available in Welsh here

(3) The writing team is keen to promote the free online book: DRY: the diary of a water superhero. They have run a couple of webinars to introduce the DRY Primary book resource – one for ‘educators’ and another for ‘parents and carers’.

Both webinars were captured. Educators can access the video here. Parents & carers can access here. The webinars are also available on the DRY website Resources page, which can be accessed here.

(4) The DRY and About Drought projects have involved collaboration with the Geographical Association to develop research-informed resources that promote awareness of UK drought among young people. This includes creative thinking about positive water behaviours at home and in school, and adaptation to future drought.

We have worked with educational developer, Gemma Mawdsley to develop six lesson plans and learning resources for Key Stages 3 and 4

(5) Understanding ‘Hidden’ or ‘Embedded’ Water

When thinking about personal water use, it is important to differentiate between direct water use and use of ‘virtual’, hidden or ‘embedded’ water in the growing and processing of the food we eat, the clothes we wear, and the items we use in our daily lives. In the DRY project, we used this ‘hidden water’ quiz as a ‘conversation opener’ to engage children and adults about water behaviours – as a way in to talking about experiences of dryness and drought.

          Food water challenge questions

          Food water challenge answers

          Food water challenge teachers notes

We found that this quiz was particularly popular with school teachers and those running scout and brownie groups.

Understanding the idea of ‘hidden water’ could be described as a ‘threshold concept’; when you ‘get it’, it enables different thinking and reflection about personal water use and its reduction. This can underpin personal decisions about what (and how much) to buy, eat, wear and use – and where these items are sourced.

The resources presented here are our adaptation of information on the ‘water footprints’ of different common products at: http://waterfootprint.org/en

(6) Water, Drought and You: Find out more through our Z card resources!

As part of the DRY and About Drought projects, we have produced some ‘Z card’ resources for households and schools to promote learning: ‘Water, drought and you: find out more’. The 48 panels weave science and stories about drought and water behaviour – considering lack of water in the UK as a risk, and water as a resource that needs to be valued now and even more in the future.

The 48 panels cover themes like ‘different types of drought’, ‘drought impacts’, UK drought myths and positive water behaviours. You can follow up by clicking QR codes and listening to some stories in the DRY Story Bank.

For electronic copy of these resources, please click the links below:

Z cards as an online booklet

Z cards as two A3 printable posters

Z cards as one A1 printable poster

(7) Drought myth busters!

The DRY project collaborated with the Royal Geographical Society in its ‘Ask a geographer’ podcast series to dispel pervasive drought myths in the UK.  See the 11 drought myth busters!  To listen to the podcast: https://www.rgs.org/schools/teaching-resources/professor-lindsey-mcewen-and-the-dry-utility-resou/.  The myth buster slides are for any age group; the podcast is best accessed by KS3 and adults.


See also Creative Collaborations