You work for DOWSE, the Division of Water Sourcing and Education. DOWSE focuses on the ethical treatment of its employees, the environment, and the countries it serves. Your department collects information about people who are affected by water crises.

DOWSE is using social media to bring attention to the ethical concerns related to these crises. Your supervisor, Dr. Phil Wehls, has asked you to create an infographic and write a blog post about one of the topics described below:

Flint, Michigan

Flint, Michigan, experienced water problems after the local government switched its water source from Lake Huron to the local Flint River. This change was an attempt to help the struggling city save money. Investigate the decisions that the local and national government made. How did these decisions affect Flint’s water system and the health of Flint’s residents?

Privatization of Water Utilities

Around the world, some cities and countries are selling their water utilities to private companies. Private companies are not run by government agencies. These private companies are trying to turn a profit. At the same time, they are supposed to meet the regions’ water demands and maintain water quality and physical systems. What is the impact of privatization on affected communities?

The Agricultural Use of Water

Agricultural crops use approximately 70% of the freshwater withdrawals worldwide. Scientists are interested in whether the use of this water is effective and efficient. They are also concerned about agricultural runoff. Agricultural runoff happens when water used on crops contains contaminants such as pesticides and chemical fertilizers. How does this runoff affect drinking supplies, wildlife, and the ecosystems downstream?


Dr. Wehls has asked you to research one of the topics listed in the scenario. He would like you to create an infographic or slide that gives an overview of the topic and examines what went wrong or what could go wrong. He also asked you to write a blog post on the ethical implications of the scientific or technical topic you examined.

  1. Infographic

    Create an infographic using imaging software like PowerPoint or an infographic tool like Piktochart. Your infographic should present an overview of facts about your chosen topic. This could include the history of the topic, interesting statistics, or any pros and cons related to the topic.

    Note: As you complete your research, you will discover ethical issues related to the topic. These do not need to be covered in your infographic. You will discuss ethical issues in your blog post.

  2. Blog Post

    Your blog post should discuss the ethical issues surrounding your chosen topic. In your blog post be sure to cover the following: 

    • Discuss the ethics of the decision makers involved in your topic. What motivated the decision makers to make the choices they did? How did their decisions affect others?
    • Explain your agreement or disagreement with the decisions that were made.
    • Discuss any ethical perspectives that can be applied to your topic.

Supporting Materials

The following resource(s) may help support your work on the project:

Citation Help
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Reading:  What Went Wrong In Flint
This article describes how the water crisis developed in Flint, Michigan.

Reading:  Privatizing Water Facilities Can Help Cash-Strapped Municipalities
This article presents an argument in favor of the privatization of water.

Reading: The Race to Buy Up the World’s Water
This article presents an argument against the privatization of water.

Video:  The Aral Sea Ecological Disaster (26:00)
This video describes how human action led to the disappearance of the Aral Sea.