Harvesting the RainOverview
This 11-minute video explores how people in India, Zimbabwe and the Southwest United States are rediscovering ancient rainwater harvesting practices to address water sustainability. Although the need for water is greatest in drought-stricken areas of the world, Brad Lancaster, a rainwater harvesting advocate, argues that simple practices can benefit anyone in any place. In this lesson, students explore the issue of water sustainability by examining the distribution of fresh water on Earth and using a physical model to simulate the implementation of rainwater harvesting practices.
- Examine human and climatic factors that influence the sustainability of water resources.
- Define water sustainability
- Describe the benefits of rainwater harvesting (decentralized, groundwater recharging, climate change mitigation)
- Explore visualizations to understand how the availability of fresh water resources is affected by natural variations in weather, changes in climate, and human activities that use water.
- Compare and contrast the rainwater harvesting methods used in India and the Southwest United States.
- Explain the difference between permeable and impermeable surfaces influence water availability
- Construct a physical model to simulate the effect of implementing rainwater harvesting on water sustainability
- Civics & Government
- Earth and Space Science
- Social Studies
- The Modern Era (1980-Present)
- The Environment and Natural Resources
- Climate Change
- Civics and Government
- AP Environmental Science
- What makes a resource sustainable?
- How does water flow through the environment?
- Why is water scarce in some areas of the world?
- How do we model a water budget?
- How can rainwater harvesting affect water sustainability?
Earth’s Systems: Develop a model to describe the cycling of water through Earth's systems driven by energy from the sun and the force of gravity.
Earth’s Systems: Develop a model to describe the cycling of Earth's materials and the flow of energy that drives this process.
Develop a model to generate data for iterative testing and modification of a proposed object, tool, or process such that an optimal design can be achieved.
Construct an explanation based on evidence for how the availability of natural resources, occurrence of natural hazards, and changes in climate have influenced human activity.
Earth and Human Activity: Use a computational representation to illustrate the relationships among Earth systems and how those relationships are being modified due to human activity.
Analyze a major global challenge to specify qualitative and quantitative criteria and constraints for solutions that account for societal needs and wants.
Humans can mitigate their impact on land and water resources through sustainable use.
- STB-1.A: Explain the concept of sustainability.
- STB-1.A.1: Sustainability refers to humans living on Earth and their use of resources without depletion of the resources for future generations. Environmental indicators that can guide humans to sustainability include biological diversity, food production, average global surface temperatures and CO2 concentrations, human population, and resource depletion.
- STB-1.A.2: Sustainable yield is the amount of a renewable resource that can be taken without reducing the available supply.
- STB-1.B: Describe methods for mitigating problems related to urban runoff.
- STB-1.B.1: Methods to increase water infiltration include replacing traditional pavement with permeable pavement, planting trees, increased use of public transportation, and building up, not out.
Use paper based and electronic mapping and graphing techniques to represent and analyze spatial patterns of different environmental and cultural characteristics.
Use geographic data to analyze variations in the spatial patterns of cultural and environmental characteristics at multiple scales.
Analyze relationships and interactions within and between human and physical systems to explain reciprocal influences that occur among them.
Analyze the ways in which cultural and environmental characteristics vary among various regions of the world.
Construct arguments using claims and evidence from multiple sources, while acknowledging the strengths and limitations of the arguments.
Critique arguments for credibility.
Critique the use of claims and evidence in arguments for credibility.
Cite specific textual evidence to support analysis of primary and secondary sources, attending to such features as the date and origin of the information.
Determine the central ideas or information of a primary or secondary source; provide an accurate summary of how key events or ideas develop over the course of the text.
Integrate quantitative or technical analysis (e.g., charts, research data) with qualitative analysis in print or digital text.
Cite specific textual evidence to support analysis of primary and secondary sources, connecting insights gained from specific details to an understanding of the text as a whole.
Determine the central ideas or information of a primary or secondary source; provide an accurate summary that makes clear the relationships among the key details and ideas.
Integrate and evaluate multiple sources of information presented in diverse formats and media (e.g., quantitative data, video, multimedia) in order to address a question or solve a problem.
Synthesize information from a range of sources (e.g., texts, experiments, simulations) into a coherent understanding of a process, phenomenon, or concept, resolving conflicting information when possible.