Resource Title

Climate Change is About… Water – teaching and activities guide


This online teaching and activities guide to water and the impact of climate change in Bolivia is based on fieldwork undertaken by the Democracy Center in 2010-11. It has been designed to be adapted for many uses (formal education and youth and community) and employs a wide range of online resources and educational tools.

Set within the context of the country’s vulnerability to climate change and the impacts of extreme weather, these case studies of drought, flooding and glacier loss in three Bolivian communities offer a window onto what climate change actually entails when it hits a vulnerable population.

Resource Details


The Teaching and Activities Guide is designed for use alongside the microsite ‘Climate Change is About…Water’. Material on the microsite can be followed in a sequential order, and projected as a presentation if desired. It also has discrete thematic chapters – or single entries, essays, videos etc.

This guide has lessons for each section of the website. In each lesson we have included a brief summary of the main themes of the lesson, a series of research/discussion points, and some activities. The website material and research/discussion points could be dealt with in class, or given to students as class preparation. The Resources section of the site can be used to aid students in their research

This resource has been designed to be used in a range of settings:

  • Individual researchers will hopefully find the case studies and accompanying analysis useful to complement their work.
  • Teachers of Geography, Environment, Climate Change, Globalisation Studies, Citizenship and related disciplines can make use of both the website and Teaching Guide to complement their curricula.
  • Environmental activists, wherever they are based, may find this project useful for adding power to their campaigning activities.

However you may decide to use this resource, you are encouraged to share any work you or your students produce in response to the material and issues raised here in the Climate Classroom Gallery. From a simple comment to a full-blown video project or campaigning action, if the Bolivian story here has inspired you to think more about the impacts of climate change, then share that thinking with others via this site.

Each lesson includes discussion/research questions, a range of activities and a Thinking about solutions box.

It is divided into 7 lessons:

Lesson 1: Why climate change is about water

Lesson 2: Vulnerability

Lesson 3: Drought case study: Pasorapa

Lesson 4: Flooding case study: Quillacolo

Lesson 5: Glacier loss case study: Khapi

Lesson 6: Climate Crisis Worldwide

Conclusion: What is to be done?

Optional Lesson: Bolivia and the Water War

A range of video support material are also available as part of the online resource.

For example, Bolivia’s chief climate negotiator, René Orellana, responds to the question: “What are the most important things that you want people around the world to understand about the impacts of climate change on water in Bolivia?” in an interview as part of the project.

Further reading

The Democracy Center has been based in Bolivia for nearly fifteen years. Over that time we have sought to communicate the impacts of global issues as they are experienced on the ground here, dating back to 2000 and the now-famous Cochabamba Water Revolt. Today no story from Bolivia is more urgent than how climate change is changing the country’s destiny by altering, in deep and powerful ways, its fragile relationship with water. Floods, droughts and glacier loss are taking their toll in terms of human lives, livestock, housing, infrastructure, health…We made this website to help spread this story, and aid understanding of what climate change looks and feels like at ground zero.

Find out more at the Climate & Democracy pages of The Democracy Centre’s website at

Available from:

Download Climate Change is about…Water (teaching guide) PDF (718KB)

Access the free online support website Climate Change is about…Water:

Access the Spanish version of the support website Cambio Climático es…Hablar de Agua

Upload and share your group work with others across the world at Climate Classroom Gallery:

Audiovisual support material for groups to use and explore