Resourcefulness: The Energy-Water Nexus by Dr. Michael Webber

Energy and water are both critical to a modern civilization; and what most people don’t realize is they depend on each other.  We use energy for water and water for energy, so a shortage or constraint in one becomes a shortage or constraint for the other.  The stakes are high, so we need to make good decisions about those resources today for a sustainable tomorrow.  To address these challenges, we need a highly skilled work force.  That means we need a new approach to educating the world about the balance between energy and water. That’s why I’ve authored Resourcefulness, an interactive energy-water STEM curriculum developed by Disco Learning Media and, through sponsored distribution, made available around the world  by Itron, Inc.

With Resourcefulness our goal is to improve resource literacy, encourage conservation, and inspire the next generation of innovators.  The curriculum is designed to enhance and complement existing teaching materials and tools with new approaches and new resources. To further engage students and schools, we’re proudly collaborating with Microsoft to bring Resourcefulness to Minecraft: Education Edition. Students will now have an opportunity to innovate and build creative solutions that teach them about sustainability and conservation in lessons such as Renewable Energy. Teaching about renewable energy is just one of many ways educators can use Minecraft in their classrooms to teach key concepts across subject areas.

As an educator at one of the world’s top research universities, I have the great fortune to work with remarkable students from around the globe. Their passion and abilities give me incredible hope for our future.  In many cases students today are speaking with greater moral clarity on society’s tough challenges than our institutional leaders.  I have no doubt that they will change the world for the better. And, we need them to do so.  In celebration of Earth Day, let’s join them to innovate, collaborate and create a more resourceful world.


About Dr.Michael Webber

At the University of Texas at Austin, Dr. Michael E. Webber is deputy director of the Energy Institute, co-director of the Clean Energy Incubator, Josey Centennial Fellow in Energy Resources, and professor of mechanical engineering. He has developed Energy 101, a popular energy literacy Massive Open Online Course (MOOC) and course app, and created and hosted the PBS television special, Energy at the Movies. He also holds five patents and writes and lectures extensively on energy and other topics. He lives in Austin, Texas. @MichaelEWebber