Mathematics can help make the best use of natural resources

Pupils take the role of data analysts of the World Water Resources Board (WWRB) a fictional organisation charged with providing financial aid to countries most in need of water. They will compare the availability of water in Algeria, Jordan and Turkey and in groups, focus on one country using the data to argue for resources for that country. Numerical data and video content is provided.

Getting Started

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Mathematical content

  • Key processes – pupils are expected to choose between representations of a situation from the real world and select appropriate methods and tools to use, analyse it using mathematical procedures, interpret and analyse their result and reflect on and communicate their results.
  • Number and algebra – calculating with and manipulating rational numbers; using and applying ratio and proportion; accuracy and rounding.
  • Geometry and measures – scale; units, compound measures and conversions; areas.
  • Statistics – applying the handling data cycle.
  • Curriculum opportunities - work on problems that arise in other subjects; work collaboratively as well as independently in a range of contexts.

Students will develop their understanding of ‘Handling data' and ‘Proportional reasoning’ and will come to recognise that a key aspect of data handling is determining the appropriate data to answer a question. Pupils must create an appropriate ‘compound measure’ in order to produce a fair comparison.

Organisation and pedagogy

The case study supports four to five lessons of classroom activity – mainly in groups for which the recommendation is groups of three, but also some whole class and individual work. Each pupil will need a printed copy of the Analyst’s Guide which is 39 pages long. The Teacher’s Notes are detailed and include the Analyst’s Guide content – 53 pages in total. There is video content and the potential for some Internet research. Access to computers would be useful for research, analyses and possibly report writing. Lessons are designed for use with pupils of mixed ability.


  • Teacher’s Notes (pdf): lesson plans and Analyst’s Notes for teacher guidance.
  • Analyst’s Notes (pdf): information and data for use by pupils.
  • Data file (.xls): the data file is in MS Excel format, but the same data is printed in the Analyst’s Notes so that a calculator can be used instead of a spreadsheet.
  • Video files (mpeg-4 and QuickTime): videos for WWRB introduction and information on Algeria, Jordan and Turkey.

Each pupil will need access to a printed copy of The Resource Allocation Notebook which would be most useful printed in colour as it contains detailed maps.

Adobe Reader is required to view the pdf files contained within this case study.

Further resources in case study

Required Group Student Materials

Welcome Letter (pdf)

Data Table (pdf)

WWRB Gallery (ppt)

Applications Letter (pdf)

Algeria Application (pdf)

Jordan Application (pdf)

Turkey Application (pdf)

Poster Sample (pdf)

Congratulations Letter (pdf)

Required Movie (to be projected)
Note: You will need software to play the mp4 files. Please click here to view a list of compatible software.

WWRB Introductory Video (mp4)

Optional Student Materials

WWRB Glossary (doc)

WWRB Datasheet (xls)

Headline Example (doc)

Country Application Data (xls)

Video Country Script (for teacher use)

World Map (pdf)

Regional Map (pdf)

Algeria Map (gif)

Jordan Map (gif)

Turkey Map (gif)

Optional Movies
Note: You will need software to play the mp4 files. Please click here to view a list of compatible software.

Algeria Video Excerpts (mp4)

Jordan Video Excerpts (mp4)

Turkey Video Excerpts (mp4)

Extension Materials

Getting Info, Easy version (pdf)

Getting Info, Challenging version (pdf)

Headline, Challenging version (pdf)

Numbers and Units activity (pdf)

Data Table, challenging version (pdf)

Extended dataset, teacher version with activities descriptions (xls)

Extended dataset, student version (xls)