UEN Security Office
Technical Services Support Center (TSSC)
Eccles Broadcast Center
101 Wasatch Drive
Salt Lake City, UT 84112
(801) 585-6105 (fax)
In this exercise, students will be assigned roles as community members, develop questions and positions, and participate in a mock community meeting to discuss the development of a water use plan that addresses water shortages, distribution, and water quality.
Access to the internet and background resources.
To analyze how communities deal with water shortages, distribution, and quality in designing a long-term water use plan.
Utah is the second driest state in the nation, yet has the second highest per capita water use in the nation. These seemingly contradictory facts are a result of our extensive system of storage and distribution of irrigation water snowmelt that is trapped and used throughout the growing season. Utah also has a very high growth rate, primarily in urban areas. As our population increases, many water related issues will need to be addressed: How will water that has been used traditionally for agriculture be used in the future? How will the water needs of urban populations be met? Is there a need to build more water reservoirs and is the public willing to pay that cost? How does water conservation fit into this picture? You may want to check with your local Extension or city offices to obtain more detailed information for your area.
For more information on water use, planning and water law in Utah, see:
NOTE: You may want to share the following resources with your students as they are formulating their concerns and needs. These are included in the Teacher Resource pages (pdf).
Applying the Data:
Beneficial uses of water (partial list)
Class 1 Drinking water designations
1C Domestic purposes with prior treatment (drinking water)
Class 2 Protected for recreation and aesthetics
2A Primary contact for recreation (swimming)
2B Secondary contact for recreation
Class 3 Protected for aquatic wildlife
3A Coldwater species of game fish and other aquatic life
3B Warmwater species of game fish and other aquatic life
3C Nongame fish and other aquatic life
3D Waterfowl, shore birds and other water oriented wildlife
Class 4 Protected for agriculture uses (irrigation and stock watering)
Class 5 Protected for the Great Salt Lake only (primary and secondary contact recreation, aquatic wildlife and mineral extraction)
Lesson plan authors: Andree Walker and Nancy Mesner (Utah State University Water Quality Extension)
This curriculum was made possible through funding from the Environmental Protection Agency, the United States Department of Agriculture, Cooperative State Research, Education, and Extension Service, the Utah Division of Wildlife Resources, and Utah State University Extension.
Additional resources can be found on the USU Stream Side Science 9th Grade Curriculum web page.