Activity Introduction

water-hero22-260x300Quick summary: Students investigate how rainfall levels are changing in Australia. Students calculate and compare the percentage of water available and inflow levels in cities across Australia. Finally students are asked to research and assess the strangest or weirdest water harvesting or storage ideas they can find, and to create a blog post on these ideas.

These activities “… are an invaluable tool for teachers to address climate change in an educationally relevant, scientifically sound, and action-­based way.” – Tim Flannery (Read more)

Learning goals:

  • Students understand the long-term effects of rainfall shortage.
  • Students recognise some existing ideas for water storage and harvesting.
  • Students demonstrate the ability to work with percentages and related calculations.

General capabilities: Critical and creative thinking.

Cross-curriculum priority: Sustainability OI.1.

Australian Curriculum content description:

Year 7 Mathematics

  • Connect fractions, decimals and percentages and carry out simple conversions (ACMNA157)
  • Find percentages of quantities and express one quantity as a percentage of another, with and without digital technologies. (ACMNA158)

Year 8 Mathematics

  • Solve problems involving the use of percentages, including percentage increases and decreases, with and without digital technologies (ACMNA187)

Year 7 Geography

  • The classification of environmental resources and the forms that water takes as a resource (ACHGK037)
  • The quantity and variability of Australia’s water resources compared with those in other continents (ACHGK039)
  • The nature of water scarcity and ways of overcoming it, including studies drawn from Australia and West Asia and/or North Africa (ACHGK040)

Year 7 & 8 Design and Technologies

  • Examine and prioritise competing factors including social, ethical and sustainability considerations in the development of technologies and designed solutions to meet community needs for preferred futures (ACTDEK029)

Syllabus Outcomes: GE4-1 ,GE4-2, GE4-3, GE4-4, GE4-5, T4.1.2, T4.1.3, T4.4.1, T4.6.2.

Topic: We Are the Weather Makers

Time required: 60 mins

Level of teacher scaffolding: Medium – oversee activity and facilitate discussion

Resources required: Internet access, student worksheet.

Digital technology opportunities: Blog post creation (e.g. edublogs), digital sharing capabilities.

Homework and extension opportunities: Includes opportunities for extension.

Key reading from We Are the Weather Makers: Chapter 14 – Extreme Weather

Further reading from the book: Chapter 13 – Rainfall

Keywords: Water, rainfall, storage, inflow, harvesting, climate change, percentages.

Cool Australia’s curriculum team continually reviews and refines our resources to be in line with changes to the Australian Curriculum.

Cool Australia would like to acknowledge:

  • Tim Flannery
  • David Harding, Rose Iser, Sally Stevens
  • Text Publishing and Purves Environmental Fund
  • Climate Council
climate-council-logo textlogo_type purves_environ

Worksheets

Teacher Worksheet

glass-water1-heroTeacher preparation

Overarching learning goal: By participating in this activity students will understand the long-term effects of rainfall shortage and recognise some existing ideas for water storage and harvesting. They will also demonstrate the ability to work with percentages and related calculations.

Teacher content information: In 2002, large areas of eastern and southern Australia began experiencing drought conditions. These conditions became more serious and in 2002, the worst drought on record was being experienced in many parts of the country. Drought conditions officially continued until 2012, when the drought was officially declared ended nationally. However, drought conditions have since worsened in parts of Queensland and northern New South Wales.

The clip on this CSIRO webpage (http://bit.ly/1DbvUOh) summarises some of the big challenges for future water supplies in Australia.

australia-climate-council

For more reliable information about climate change in Australia, visit the Climate Counci

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Student Worksheet

Thought starter: What is a drought?

water-1

In 2002, large areas of eastern and southern Australia began experiencing drought conditions. These conditions became more serious and in 2002, the worst drought on record was being experienced in many parts of the country. Drought conditions officially continued until 2012, when the drought was officially declared ended nationally. However, drought conditions have since worsened in parts of Queensland and northern New South Wales.

Part 1. In April 2007, the majority of capital cities on Australia's east coast were under some sort of water restriction. The table below shows the effect the drought had on these cities' water storage levels.

City

Capacity (ML)

Actual in April 2007 (ML)

% available

Melbourne

1,812,175

540,810

Canberra

277,839

62,213

Sydney

2,581,850

980,170

Brisbane

2,220,150

347,023

Calculate the actua

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