Use each region’s wealth to build pipes, desalinate water, and conduct research to bring water where it’s needed most. Monsoons, dry spells, disease, and even cursed lawn sprinklers can help or hinder your progress
Runs offline: yes (except web version)
Last update: Android 26/09/2017 (v. 1.0) – iOS 26/04/2017 (v. 1.0.4)
Website of the developer: Smithsonian Science Education Center
Aquation: The Freshwater Access is children’s app (from 10 years old upwards) which teaches how to properly manage the planet’s water sources in a sustainable way. Your aim is to develop the best strategy for ensuring that all regions have an adequate water supply. Thus, you can choose to promote research in wealthiest countries. Or, for example, to build pipes or desalination plants in countries with greater resources. You win the game when you achieve the balance in the water availability.
How do you play?
The first thing you need to do is select a region. Depending on how you want to play, you can choose one with a lot of natural resources or a very rich one. Then, select one of the initial options: Build a desalination plant, Do research or Send humanitarian aid. If you choose the infrastructure, you will have to invest some of your wealth in its construction, but in return you will get water (you can also upgrade it later). If you prefer R&D, you will also have to invest money, even at the risk of not making advanced in water research. However, if you discover how to save water, for example, you can select three other regions that may also benefit from your finding. In the case of humanitarian aid, it is only possible with two regions selected at the same time.
If you want to build a pipe to transfer water, in addition to the region you have selected, you must click on another territory to activate the option Build a pipeline. The work is funded by the region you had marked in the first place. Also, with the Move option you can change your target region and act on it..
You should also watch for signs that will appear on the screen. They may refer, for example, to droughts, floods or other socio-economic aspects that can influence the development of the game.
The application, at a given moment of the game, will display a message on screen inviting you to review the reliability of your strategy. It also shows you other options you can consider or even combine:
- Build centrally located desalination plants and share water locally.
- Use wealthy regions to do research.
- Upgrade existing desalination plants to get more water out of them.
- Watch new alerts and move to regions with impending negative events.
- Use more pipes to bring water from regions with lots of it.
The screenshots are from the web version of the application.
Images: screenshots 06/02/2018. © Smithsonian Science Education Center
The video is recorded using the web version of the application.
Although at first glance it seems to be an abundant element, water is an increasingly scarce resource with a very unbalanced natural distribution. In fact, after subtracting the volume represented by the seas and oceans, polar ice caps, glaciers and groundwater, it is estimated that the percentage available for use and consumption is 1%, that corresponding to surface water. To this natural availability, it is also convenient to add the impact that climate change may cause in the near future. Although its consequences are not yet clear, most studies suggest that it will lead to a change in rainfall regimes. It is therefore essential to manage water resources in the most sustainable way possible.
Aquation creates the necessary framework for schoolchildren to learn the importance of research in the resource conservation or how other climatic or socio-economic phenomena affect water availability, as well as the importance of humanitarian aid and collaboration between countries. To achieve this purpose, the app has been designed in the form of a strategy game that is not only suitable for children, but can also arouse the interest of adults. The application stands out for its gameplay and design, although its use is a little uncomfortable in devices with a small screen.