Impacts—Dealing with Drought

Summary: Global climate models predict that Oregon will experience a reduction of water availability, increased drought, and increased chances for wildfire in coming years. Students will brainstorm steps they, their families and their schools can take to plan for these conditions.

Concepts to teach:

Goals:

  1. During drought conditions, people need to use water resources wisely
  2. There are personal actions everyone can take to reduce water use

Standards: NGSS Performance Expectations

  • 3-ESS3-1. Make a claim about the merit of a design solution that reduces the impacts of a weather-related hazard.

Specific Objectives:
Students will be able to:

  1. List three practical ways they can use less water at home or school.
  2. Limit their use of water in one identifiable way.

Activity Links and Resources:

  • Background information for teachers: The Oregon Climate Change Adaptation Framework, 2010—Assessment of Very Likely and Likely risks associated with climate change, and short-term Action Items for addressing these risks.
    • Reduced water availability (p. 20-25) Very likely
    • Wildfire (p. 26 -31)
    • Drought (p. 39-43)
  • U.S. Drought Monitor—Check current drought conditions across the country
    • Use the map and the color key to identify which areas of the country are currently experiencing drought conditions.
    • Locate your school’s location on the state map. What are the current conditions in your area?
  • Drought for Kids—FEMA handout from www.ready.gov defines drought, describes its impacts, and provides information about what kids can do
  • As a class, brainstorm ways students can reduce their water use at home and at school
    • Visit the OCEP Water Use topic guide in Module 2 for additional water conservation ideas
    • Decide on one action everyone in the class will take to reduce personal or classroom water consumption. Have students journal about their experience, and collect data on the amount of water used, if possible.

Assessment:

  • Students share their water conservation experience with others through writing, data charts, art, etc.