Global Water Center exhibit at Battlefield Mall has interactive activities to raise awareness of global water crisis

Published: Aug. 20, 2021 at 5:25 PM CDT|Updated: Aug. 20, 2021 at 5:46 PM CDT
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SPRINGFIELD, Mo. (KY3) - If you took a drink of clean water today, you did something that many people around the world cannot do.

This weekend a special exhibit in the parking lot of Battlefield Mall will provide an educational and hands-on look at something most of us take for granted.


The Global Water Center, a Charleston, South Carolina-based organization, has 25,000 square-feet of family-oriented exhibits on display that go through the many aspects of water’s importance in our lives.

But all that information is being brought to the public with one thing in mind.

”At the Global Water Center we are bringing awareness about the global water crisis,” said Margie MacFarland, the Tour Manager of the traveling exhibit. “ Around 2.2 billion people don’t have access to safe water. It is our goal to bring that number to zero. So what we’re doing is traveling across the country with a free exhibit that’s a wonderful family event and you’re going to learn about safe water, unsafe water and even about the water that is all over the earth.”

The exhibits educate about serious subjects but use the latest in technology to keep people interested. You’ll see everything from interactive walls that illuminate interesting facts as you walk past them to I-pads that you can point at objects and get an immediate narrative of what you’re looking at.

“You’ll find information about the universe all the way down to a drop of water,” MacFarland said. “You’ll see water usage in our homes, agriculture and industry and you’ll learn about water scarcity.”

The exhibit includes several different areas. The first part, Water Is Life, highlights the three states of water – liquid, gas, and solid – and explores the uniqueness of water on Earth.

Up next is the Water and People exhibit that looks at almost every aspect of life that is impacted by water. This explores the advantages and opportunities of reliable access to abundant safe water, and the challenges and obstacles people face throughout the world when facing water scarcity or unsafe water.

Water for Everyone uses augmented reality to give you an in-depth look at how the best technology and plans work together to deliver safe water to people who don’t have access.

There is also a movie theater with a look at the organization and its mission and an outside water activity pavilion with hands-on learning about things like water testing, solar-powered systems and water treatment.

Christina Crisco brought her four children ages 2 to 7.

“We’re always on the look for something educational for the kids and it was very informative and hands-on so there was a lot of interest even for their age,” she said. “Their favorite was the bathroom one where they got to see how pour-flush toilets work.”

That exhibit involves filling up buckets with water from a hand-pump, pouring it into a toilet and then putting golf balls in the toilet to see where the water flows.

No matter what your age you’ll probably learn something at the exhibits and many people are astonished to learn that one-third of the world’s population doesn’t have what we have.

“I think that they are stunned by the fact that people don’t have access to safe water and how their lives are affected by that,” MacFarland said. “They travel miles and hours and go to get a bucket of water for a whole family for a whole day. We’ve had so many people that have come through and said, ‘I had no idea and it makes me look at water differently.’”

Crisco was asked what she hopes her children get out of the experience.

“I hope they really take away from it the realization of how water connects us globally and take water not so much for granted and appreciate the impact it has on not just us but people around the world,” she answered.

The Global Water Center is open Saturday from 10 a.m.-7 p.m. and Sunday from 10 a.m.-3 p.m. Admission is free.

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