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close this bookSpecial Public Works Programmes - SPWP - Community Water Supply - A Community Participation Training Element for SPWP User Beneficiaries (ILO - UNDP, 1987, 100 p.)
close this folderSESSION 5: How Does the Water Get There?
View the documentGUIDELINES
View the documentREADING SECTION




At the end of this learning/discussion session, the participants should be able to:

1. Draw a representation of the evaporation/rainfall cycle and explain:

how water enters and is stored in the ground;
how it evaporates;
how it is collected in clouds; and
how it falls as rain.

2. Give an example of surface water in the area.

3. Share knowledge of location of ground water in the area (evidence can include sites of wells or springs).

4. Discuss the advantages and disadvantages of using ground water for drinking water.


one to two hours


chalkboard and chalk, or flipchart and pen


1. The USEFUL WORDS at the beginning of this session material are very important. If the participants do not understand these words they will not understand the information that is later presented.

DO NOT just ask them if they understand the definitions. Translate them into the local language. Discuss and give examples of each word if necessary.

2. The scientific principles presented in this session may be generally accepted in some areas and generally disbelieved in others.

If these principles are new to your participants, they are more likely to be believed if presented by one of their own more knowledgeable fellow participants. Therefore, if some of the participants are school leavers or others familiar with the water cycle, let them teach the material under your supervision.

If most of the group are knowledgeable about the water cycle, use this material as an opportunity for review.


· As is true for all sessions, it may be easier for your group NOT to read the material. You, the discussion leader, can present the information to them orally if necessary. Use the blackboard or flipchart to illustrate the water cycle.

3. DISCUSSION OPPORTUNITY: The purpose of the discussion opportunity is to give people a chance to understand and talk about common water-related problems. It is essential that you listen and encourage people to ask questions and discuss their different points of view.


Question 1: The sketch of the water cycle should include clouds, rainfall, water shed area, surface water (e.g. a pond, stream, dam, lake, etc.) and indicate at which point evaporation takes place.

As with all role plays, you may have to demonstrate before asking two group members to actively take part.

Question 2: Answers will vary. However, a common disadvantage will probably be that the surface water is easily contaminated.

Question 3: Answers will vary. However, a common advantage will be that the ground water is usually not contaminated.

5. READING ASSIGNMENT: If this group does study assignments before each learning/discussion session, ask them to read EITHER SESSION 6 OR SESSION 7, whichever is appropriate, before the next group meeting.

If the community water supply is based on wells, assign ONLY Session 6.

If the community water supply is based on springs, assign ONLY Session 7.

If your community water supply is based on some other system, prepare your own training material and discussion plan for the next session.