The New Zealand Aqua Republica Eco Challenge 2016

Year 2016

Aqua Republica is an online not-for-profit ‘serious’ game which has been developed by the Centre on Water and Environment, a partnership between the United Nations Environment Programme and DHI Water and Environment (DHI).

The centre was created with the aim of promoting sustainable water resources management by sharing knowledge, raising awareness and building capacity in some of the most critical issues in managing the use and protection of freshwater from rivers, streams, lakes and aquifers.

A New Zealand unique version of Aqua Republica is due for completion by 30 August 2016 and will be launched through an interschool competition known as ‘The NZ Aqua Republica Eco Challenge’, or ‘NZAR Eco Challenge’, targeting intermediate and secondary schools between 5 and 16 September 2016.

The game enables participants to simulate catchment management decision-making in an interactive and engaging way, based on real-life New Zealand scenarios. It highlights challenges of managing water resources in a situation of growing demand between multiple users and community needs.

The central reasons for carrying out this project is to raise awareness of environmental management amongst school-aged children: increased familiarity with terminology used in the field of water will be determinable. A growing workforce of skilled and engaged professionals will be required to meet the coming challenges in the fields of Integrated Water Resource Management (IWRM) and water technologies, particularly where complex trade-offs and compromises between human development and the environment are concerned. We seek to foster interest in this topic and potentially lead young adults to consider careers in these areas, which will become ever more important as the climate changes and human populations grow and continue to stress the environment.

The first NZAR Eco Challenge will reach the regions of Bay of Plenty, Canterbury, Wellington, Hawkes Bay, Taranaki, Auckland, Tasman and the Waikato. Interested community groups are also able to play the game through contacting the Science Learning Hub.

Click through to the website to take a look at who is involved and what the game is all about.

Rose Jowsey
MPbD & The ACADEMY Business Coordinator
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