‘Tales of Water’ – How children see water in the Zarqa River Basin in Jordan

25 July 2005 | News story

Tales of Water - A Child’s View tells the exciting story of the many challenges facing water management through the eyes of children. This multimedia project is coordinated and managed by The World Conservation Union and undertaken by the Tales of Water Foundation. It focuses on rural children living in river basins in Jordan, Tanzania, the Mekong Basin, the Niger Basin, and Mexico/Guatemala.

The project lets children from all over the world tell their stories and experiences with water. The various ‘Tales of Water’ illustrate in concrete terms children’s relations to water. It records their observations, adventures and feelings and shows that water is the basis for all life and that everyone deals with water on a daily basis. Water has a function, is a means, a product, a life condition.

The Zarqa River Basin in Jordan is one of the five locations that were identified as hot spots for water resource management. A team from the Tales of Water Foundation has been in Jordan for 2 weeks visiting different parts of the Zarqa basin and interacting with children who have talked about their surroundings and the place of water in their life and imaginations. They have showed that water is central for the life surrounding them and this has been captured on film, by photography (including photographs made by the children themselves) and in words (as written up by a local Jordanian writer).

The team has been supported by the IUCN Regional Office based in Amman and by the Ministry of Environment and partners such as The Queen Zein Al Sharaf Institute for Development (ZENID), the Jordan Aqua Conservation Association (JACA), and the IUCN National Committee in Jordan. IUCN, through this project, wishes to contribute to increasing awareness of the subject matter of water within key target groups. The main target group is youth. For them, one short television show and a web-based education program will be developed.

From the field work in Jordan and the other locations, four products are being developed:

  • A Tales of Water photo-book in two editions, including a CD-ROM or DVD. One chapter of the book will focus on the Jordan/Zarqa River Basin
  • Five television documentaries (one on the Zarqa River Basin in Jordan)
  • A ‘Tales of Water’ website
  • A presentation (the presentation aims to focus attention to the Foundation and its objectives, on a national and international level).
The ‘Tales of Water’ will play a prominent role at the forthcoming World Water Forum in Mexico (2006). There, Ministers will receive the photo book and the multimedia pack will be presented to United Nations Secretary General Kofi Anan.

For further information, please contact Dona Khanfour at dona.khanfour@iucn.org


This image shows the courtship behavior of Indian Bull frogs (Holobatrachus tigerinus). During the monsoon, the breeding males become bright yellow in color, while females remain dull. The prominent blue vocal sacs of male produce strong nasal mating call.