How Clean is Your Water?

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Is your water clean? Is it accessible? As it turns out, this depends on where you live in the world. As Mme Lapierre’s class discovered, most Canadians have access to clean drinking water but many people around the world do not.

This week’s lesson, Our Water, had the students re-enacting two alternative water accessibility scenarios. In the first case, students were given 10 cups – 1 for domestic use, 2 for industrial use, and 7 for agricultural use – and directed to distribute the available water from their jug. However, in this scenario, there is water scarcity and simply not enough water to meet all the population’s needs. Perhaps this community is near a desert, or maybe the population has grown too big for the water that’s around to support it, or maybe it’s summer and water restrictions are in place.

The second station has an even more dire situation. Here, the students are given the same task to fill the 10 cups, but there is an Economic water scarcity. This community is in an area that has a good source of water, but for some reason the population can’t get to it (maybe because of political conflict or lack of money). There is a source of inaccessible “Potential” water nearby, but the only water available is a dirty water source that is far away. Like many people across the world, Mme Lapierre’s students needed to haul their less than ideal water for some distance then make a difficult decision on how to use it.