2017 Minecraft Water Challenge

How To Play

The Minecraft Water Challenge is an educationally-based contest for 1st-12th grade students residing in Montgomery County. It engages participants on a variety of water-related subjects while maintaining an overarching goal of encouraging students to research and answer a simple question—Where does your water come from?

This will be the competition's second year. Once again, the participants will be divided into three brackets: Elementary; Intermediate; and High School. The Elementary bracket consists of 1st-4th grade, the Intermediate bracket consists of 5th-8th grade, and the High School bracket consists of 9th-12th grade. Note: Grade level is to be determined as of Fall 2017 school year. 

Prize monies have been allocated for each bracket and have been detailed, by rank, in the corresponding breakout boxes found on this page. 


The Rules

The contest is based off the completion of three open-ended objectives:

  • Objective 1—depict where your water comes from.
  • Objective 2—depict how it’s delivered. 
  • Objective 3—depict where it ends up.

For the Elementary bracket, Objectives 1-3 is all that is required. More detail on each of these objectives can be found below.

For the Intermediate and High School brackets, the 2017 Minecraft Water Challenge introduces two additional tasks. Again, these are additional tasks; Objectives 1-3 must still be completed.

Virtual Water Task

Create at least three examples visualizing the amount of water used to make everyday items or goods. For instance, according to the Water Footprint Network, an adult-sized pair of jeans will take a little more than 2,000 gallons of water to produce. One cotton shirt needs about 660 gallons. Intermediate and High School contestants must choose three of these, research how much water goes into their creation, and find a way to depict this in the game. Hint: one Minecraft block could be thought of as one meter cubed in real life.

Water Conservation Task

Depict a water conservation idea, method, or technique you believe is valuable (or could be valuable)—it could be something that already exists or something that could exist in the near future. A little imagination is just fine as long as you can combine it with critical thinking to substantiate that, potentially, it could be practical. Just explain in your video.


Elementary Bracket: 1st-4th grade

Prize Monies Total = $125

1st Place: $60 

2nd Place: $30

3rd Place: $15

4th Place: $10

5th Place: $10

Intermediate Bracket: 5th-8th grade

Prize Monies Total = $375

1st Place: $220

2nd Place: $110

3rd Place: $45

High School Bracket: 9th-12th grade

Prize Monies Total = $600

1st Place: $350

2nd Place: $175

3rd Place: $75


Objective One

The first objective requires you build something that shows viewers where your water comes from (Hint: faucet isn’t going to cut it). This may require a little research. It may require a parent/student call to the local water supplier (parental involvement, especially for the youngest youngsters is certainly encouraged). The answer varies depending on where a given resident resides. Some are exclusively on public water systems supplied solely by groundwater. Some have private wells. Some have a blend of surface water and groundwater. Also, when it comes to groundwater, it’s worth trying to find out what aquifer or aquifers that water is originating from.

As far as visually depicting this first objective—have fun. You don’t need to actually pump water out of your virtual Minecraft ground—just build something that depicts where your water is coming from. Creating an in-game sign or two with the relevant information on it might be helpful, too.

Objective Two

Depict how water can be delivered. This is also worth researching. Pipes?—probably. But what about all those water towers out there. Ever wonder what those giants are doing? This task is less restrictive than the first and I’m certain there’s a lot of room for some really creative ideas. Objective one specifically asks you to show where your water comes from. With objective two, you don’t have to go dig up any local water infrastructure schematics—just have fun finding a way to visualize how that water is delivered. You can achieve this with rigorous, real-world detail or take a more fantastic approach—there’s no right or wrong approach here—you just have to ask yourself whether you’ve visually depicted the transportation of water.

Objective Three

Back This one requires you to show where the water is being delivered. It could be your home. But it doesn’t have to be. It could be a business. It could be a farm or ranch. It could be anything really—anything which requires fresh water. The sky’s the limit—literally (that’s my one allotted Minecraft pun).