Instructor Materials: Overview of the Environmental Justice and Freshwater Resources Module—Spanish Adaptation
- Articulate the principles of environmental justice as they relate to examples of water scarcity and contamination in varied geographic locations.
- Propose potential solutions to inequitable access to clean water based on principles of the hydrologic cycle.
- Connect scientific principles to human rights issues.
This is a brief orientation to the history and background of environmental justice and significant environmental justice cases in the United States. The introduction prepares students to consider specific cases of water science and environmental justice later in the module by having them explore the meanings of "environment" and "justice."
Unit 1Introduction to Environmental Justice
Unit 2The Water Cycle and Freshwater Resources
This unit provides a broad overview of water resources and hydrogeology. The overview introduces scientific concepts such as watersheds and permeability that are encountered in the subsequent units.
Unit 3Rivers and Water Diversion
In this unit, students explore surface water and its relationship to the hydrologic cycle via watersheds and drainage divides. These topics inform their analysis of the social and environmental impacts of the planned increase of hydroelectric dams in the Amazon. Case studies include the Ene River and the Marañón River in Peru.
In this unit, students explore water privatization and freshwater access issues within the geophysical and cultural context of Cochabamba, Bolivia. Students identify topographical features of rain shadows and their relationship to the water cycle. As they discuss several alternative models for supplying water, they link concepts of environmental justice to the Cochabamba Water Wars of 2000.
Unit 4The Water Wars of Cochabamba, Bolivia
By investigating the environmental contamination committed by oil companies drilling in Ecuador, students evaluate how hazardous substances affect humans and the environment.
Unit 5Hazardous Waste, Petroleum, and the Amazon
This unit addresses the issue of groundwater demands and environmental justice in the arid Southwestern United States, a region with some of the largest proportions of Hispanics and Latinos in the United States. Students discuss the Rule of Capture, the overuse of water resources, and the dwindling supply of groundwater in many parts of the Ogallala aquifer.
Unit 6Groundwater Availability and Resources
Adapting the Module to Different Courses
To adapt all or part of the Environmental Justice and Freshwater Resources—Spanish adaptation module for your classroom, you will also want to read through:
- This Instructor Story, which details how the Environmental Justice and Freshwater Resources—Spanish adaptation module was used, as well as our guide to
- Adapting InTeGrate Modules and Courses for Your Classroom, which outlines how to effectively use InTeGrate modules and courses.