Who Are the Water Protectors?

Quck answer

The water protectors are individuals or groups who advocate for the protection of water resources, particularly against threats posed by pollution, contamination, or extraction activities. They often include indigenous communities, environmental activists, and concerned citizens. Water protectors aim to raise awareness about the importance of clean water, fight against projects that could harm water sources, and promote sustainable water management practices. They organize protests, engage in legal battles, and lobby for stronger environmental regulations. Their goal is to ensure the availability of clean and safe water for present and future generations.

Have you ever experienced standing at the edge of a transparent lake? Have you ever heard the thunderous sound of a swiftly flowing river? Maybe you’ve observed the ocean waves crashing onto the shore. If you have, then you probably understand the immense power and significance of water.

More than 70 percent of the Earth’s surface is covered by water, and more than half of the human body is composed of water as well. Despite this, a large number of people around the world have limited access to clean water. This issue is expected to worsen in the future due to the pollution of rivers, lakes, and oceans.

A special group of individuals is dedicated to safeguarding water resources. Known as Water Protectors, they aim to reduce water waste and pollution. They also raise their voices against practices that endanger clean water.

The Water Protector movement was initiated in 2016 by the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe. Their motivation stemmed from the reverence for water instilled by their culture. The Sioux opposed a project called the Dakota Access Pipeline (DAPL).

The objective of this project was to construct a pipeline for transporting oil from North Dakota to Illinois. The planned route would pass below a Missouri River reservoir named Lake Oahe, which is situated just north of the Standing Rock Sioux Reservation. The Sioux resisted, claiming that the DAPL would jeopardize their access to clean water and desecrate their sacred sites.

Soon, thousands of Indigenous leaders gathered at the DAPL site, displaying signs that read “Water is life” and similar messages. Water Protectors from over 300 American Indian tribes joined forces with the Sioux, and many non-Indigenous individuals supported the cause as well.

The Standing Rock protests were characterized by nonviolence, although they frequently encountered brutality. Nevertheless, the Water Protectors persevered. After a legal battle, the DAPL was constructed and became operational in mid-2017. Supporters argue that the pipeline offers the safest means of transporting oil. Currently, the DAPL is undergoing an environmental review.

Water Protectors continue to defend waterways throughout North America. Presently, many are opposing another pipeline called Line 3, which is controlled by the energy company Enbridge. This pipeline is intended to carry oil from Canada to Wisconsin. Water Protectors argue that it will harm the environment and infringe upon Indigenous sovereignty.

What can you do? Firstly, educate yourself. Seek assistance from a family member in exploring the pros and cons of oil pipelines. Also, make sure to read about Indigenous rights. Familiarize yourself with the treaties signed by the U.S. and Canada with American Indian nations.

If your family wishes to support Water Protectors, follow the example of the Indigenous organizers who initiated the movement. They are guided by cultural practices that emphasize the importance of caring for the planet.

Regardless of your stance on oil pipelines, one thing is certain: Water is indispensable for life on Earth. What can you do to ensure clean water for the future?

Try It Out

Engage a friend or family member to assist you with these activities and learn all about how you can protect water!

Importance of Conserving Water

Having access to clean water is crucial for our daily activities such as drinking, cooking, and cleaning. Therefore, it is essential to take steps to conserve water and minimize wastage. Here are some tips from the EPA on how you can contribute to water conservation at home. Don’t forget to share these tips with your friends and family!

Track Your Water Usage

If you believe that you are already doing a good job of conserving water, try keeping a journal for a week to monitor your water usage. Take note of how many times you flush the toilet and the duration of your showers. You can use a water usage log as a reference to estimate your daily water consumption.

Understanding Earth’s Water Cleaning Process

The Earth has a natural filtration system that cleans polluted water to make it pure again. However, sometimes this process cannot keep up with the amount of pollution caused by human activities. To learn more about how the Earth cleans water, engage in an activity with the assistance of a family member. National Geographic Kids provides an activity that explores one method used by the Earth to purify water.

Wonder Sources


1. Who are the water protectors?

The water protectors are individuals or groups of people who are dedicated to protecting and preserving water resources. They advocate for clean and safe water for all communities and work towards preventing pollution and contamination of water sources. Water protectors can include activists, indigenous communities, environmental organizations, and concerned citizens who take action to raise awareness about the importance of water conservation and fight against any threats to water quality.

2. What is the role of water protectors?

The role of water protectors is to safeguard water resources and ensure their sustainable use. They raise awareness about the importance of clean water and work to prevent activities that can harm water sources, such as pollution from industrial activities or the construction of pipelines. Water protectors often engage in peaceful protests, advocacy campaigns, and legal actions to protect water rights and hold accountable those who harm water quality through their actions.

3. Why are water protectors important?

Water protectors play a crucial role in defending one of our most precious natural resources – water. They help to protect the health and well-being of communities that rely on clean water for drinking, agriculture, and recreation. By advocating for responsible water management and preventing pollution, water protectors contribute to the preservation of ecosystems and the biodiversity they support. Their efforts also raise awareness about the interconnectedness of water with other environmental and social issues.

4. How can individuals become water protectors?

Individuals can become water protectors by educating themselves about water-related issues, joining local or national environmental organizations, and participating in community initiatives focused on water conservation and protection. They can volunteer their time in clean-up activities, advocate for policy changes to protect water resources, and support campaigns that promote sustainable water management practices. By making conscious choices in their daily lives to conserve water and reduce pollution, individuals can contribute to the collective effort of being water protectors.

5. What are some examples of successful water protector movements?

One notable example of a successful water protector movement is the Standing Rock protests in 2016. The movement gained international attention as indigenous communities and activists rallied against the construction of the Dakota Access Pipeline, which posed a threat to the water supply of the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe. The protests led to increased awareness about indigenous rights and the importance of protecting water sources. Another example is the ongoing campaign against water privatization, where communities around the world have successfully fought against corporations seeking to control and exploit water resources for profit.

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