## Activity Introduction

Quick 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

## Teacher 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: Parts of NSW and Queensland are currently facing what some are calling the worst drought in living memory. Large parts of eastern Australia have been experiencing drought for between one and seven years. Climate change is predicted to increase the frequency and severity of droughts in Australia, with serious and long-lasting consequences for farmers, consumers and communities.

The report on this CSIRO webpage summarises some of the big challenges for future water supplies in Australia.

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

The IPCC
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## Thought starter: What is a drought?

Parts of NSW and Queensland are currently facing what some are calling the worst drought in living memory. Large parts of eastern Australia have been experiencing drought for between one and seven years. Climate change is predicted to increase the frequency and severity of droughts in Australia, with serious and long-lasting consequences for farmers, consumers and communities.

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 actual amount of water that was available as a percentage.

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