The Future Water Story

The Future Water Story is a brand-new learning experience at the Western Treatment Plant; using the latest technology and a behind the scenes tour, students are immersed in the world of water. This one-of-a-kind experience guides students through the importance of water to life and liveability, and how we will need to make our cities future-ready and sustainable.

The experience uses innovative pedagogies to extend and engage student learning in new ways. It brings real-life water management scenarios into a hypothetical city environment that enables students to visualise the impacts of their choices over 3 distinct eras or decades that matter.

Register your interest by contacting [email protected].


The Future Water Story is aligned to the unit Water in the world and includes two main activities, a Circular Cities Digital Challenge and a Systems and Innovation tour.

Circular Cities Digital Challenge

The city’s future is in your hands!

Children exploring the learning experience.

Working in teams for the Circular Cities Digital Challenge, students cooperate, collaborate and even negotiate to help create a sustainable city. Students have to consider that sometimes what appears best for their group isn’t always for the wider community, city and environment!

In this immersive role-playing experience teams use super-sized digital touch-tables to collectively analyse information and data; and make decisions to build their new city. Students see their city being built on a giant 3.5m 4k LED screen! 

How their city evolves is completely driven by the decisions the students make.

Although there are no right or wrong answers, their choices are rated by impacts on the environment, economy and community’s emotion.

Systems Innovation Tour

Children exploring the Future of Water learning experience

Going on a behind the scenes Systems and Innovation tour at Melbourne's largest sewage treatment plant, students will see (and smell!) how wastewater is treated to produce a sustainable outcome!

On the tour of the Western Treatment Plant, students will collect information and learn how sewage is treated and re-used, discovering the role this resource plays in overcoming water scarcity and ensuring water security. 

Students will also discover the importance of recycled water in supporting the immense biodiversity present in this world-class wetland.  

Future Water Story FAQs

How does the activity link to Year 7&8 Geography Water in the World?

The experience covers Water in the World: VCGGK105, VCGGK107, VCGGK108, VCGGK112 and Geographical Concept and Skills: VCGGC104.

For more details and curriculum links, see Western Treatment Plant tours.

How do I book?

Register your interest by contacting [email protected].

How much does it cost?

The cost is POA* per class (minimum 22 students to a maximum 30 students per group / class). *price on application

I have multiple classes, how does the booking work?
  • When you book you have the option to select two classes on one day, for a total of 60 students. 
  • You can also book multiple days for your students.
What can I expect from booking this experience?
  • Pre-visit teaching resource: these lesson outlines give context and background information, and will enable your students to make the most of the experience.
  • Trained Educators on the day (1:30 ratio) to guide students through the experience.
  • Student data collection sheet: where students will gather and record information while touring the treatment plant. 
  • Post-visit teaching resource: these are Review and Reflect activities for learning back in the classroom – linking the two experiences. 
What will my students learn (and do) during this experience?
  • Participate in an immersive, fun and playful educational experience that’s unique to anything else out there! 
  • Put sustainability principles into practice while building a hypothetical city to be informed, responsible and active citizens who can contribute to the development of a world that is environmentally and economically sustainable, and socially just.
  • Use the geographical skills they have developed to be competent, critical and creative users of geographical methods and skills. 
  • See how the challenges of water security and climate change are being managed by Melbourne Water.
What’s the format of the experience? 
  • Arrive at the Western Treatment Plant at 10:00 am for a 10:15am start
  • 10:15 am – 10:30 am Welcome to Country and Introduction 
  • 10:30 am – 11:45 am Circular Cities Challenge or Systems and Innovation tour
  • 11:45 am – 12:15 pm Lunch
  • 12:15 pm – 1:30 pm Circular Cities Challenge or Systems and Innovation tour
  • 1:30 pm – 2:00 pm Wrap up of the day
  • 2:00 pm depart the Western Treatment Plant
Would the activity be suitable for other classes and audiences?

Yes, it would as there are many layers to this learning experience. Review the learning outcomes to see how you could consider this for your school or group.

Would the activity be suitable for a primary school class?

The activity could be suitable for upper primary – Year 5 or 6. For other year levels, see Western Treatment Plant Tours.

How do I prepare my students for the experience?

To get the most out of the day, we suggest you follow the our teaching resources, which will be available in the coming weeks. This includes allocating groups to your students before you come to the WTP.

As a teacher, what do I need to do on the day?

Melbourne Water educators will guide students through each activity. However, we ask that you actively participate and supervise your students.


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