Next Steps

Lessons 1 and 2 in the geographic investigation highlighted factors that contribute to geopolitical shifts and methods to measure global peace and stability. Research by geographical scientists into the complex factors that influence local, regional, and global geopolitics will deepen our understanding of the forces that will shape the security landscape of the 21st century. 

Two enrichment activities are developed for classes and students who desire to explore further measures of peace in the U.S. and worldwide water distribution.

Enrichment Activity 1: U.S. Peace Index 2011

Explore the interactive US Peace Index maps for 2011, created by Chartsbin, by clicking on each map to see a larger view.

Index Click each link for map
Peace index rank

Changes in peacefulness (2009)
Access to small arms
Educational opportunities
Percent without health insurance
Percent in poverty


Additional resources on Global and U.S. Peace Index for 2012 are now online:

Enrichment activity 2: Explore the Growing Blue Tool Interactive Map

Using The Growing blue Tool, answer the following questions.

Water Stress Index
© The Growing Blue Tool

1. Click on the "Water Stress Index" on the left hand menu to show these values for all countries. An index that is 0.02 or lower (green) represents a country at low risk for water shortage whereas a high index is an alert for water shortage (red).

2. Click on the "Map Key" in the lower right to see the full range of Water Stress Index.

3. Visually compare the colors of each country, noting differences across continents and regions. Which region(s) of the world are patterns of water stress evident?

4.  Click the Sustainability tab to the left of the map and click on the Map key to the right to understand the legend. Sustainability is measured as a balance between the amount of water withdrawn from the ground to the amount that is returned to Earth. Countries shaded in Green have a low percentage in "Groundwater Withdrawl as a Percentage of Recharge". This means that the amount of groundwater replenished is greater than that extracted. These regions have a "sustainable" water use. Nations with high percentages are consuming water faster than it can be refilled.

  • Do you notice any patterns in global sustainability? 
  • In which region(s) of the world are the patterns evident?

5.  Zoom into the region where nations exhibit unsustainable water availability.  Click on several neighboring countries and examine the water usage data.   How do these data differ from the U.S.?

6. Consider the Global Peace Index presented in Lesson 1.  If water availability were an indicator of peace/conflict, how do you think this would alter patterns of regional peace? Which region(s) of the world are patterns of water stress evident?

7.   How do you think more access to water can create disparities between nations?

To learn more about political struggles over water, efforts to restore world peace, and related topics, explore these webpages:

  • Vision of Humanity offers maps, stories, videos, and information about such topics as "peace and society", "economics and peace", and "world of politics" to name a few examples.
  • Natural resources are not equally distributed on Earth. The Greendex Calculator provides information about how sustainable our activities and practices are, compared to other survey takers around the world.

Share This Resource