- Public policy is a complex process influenced by science, social demands, and economics.
- Water is a limited resource.
Students decide how to allocate a limited amount of water to multiple stakeholders.
Students work individually or in small groups to read through descriptions of stakeholders, decide how much water to allocate to each, and create a bar chart or pie chart that represents their allocation.
Students compare and contrast their allocation charts with others and discuss. (As a whole-class gallery walk, in small groups, or with partners.) Suggested follow-up questions while students share their allocations:
- Explain the reasoning behind your water allocations.
- Were there any major differences between your water allocation and your classmates'?
- Research and prepare reports on ways each stakeholder group can feasibly decrease their demand for water.
- Were any allocation decisions particularly difficult to make?
- Mock Water District Meeting: Assign small groups of students a stakeholder to represent. Task them with preparing a short presentation to deliver to a "Water District Board" made up of 3-4 students. The students on the Water District Board will decide how much water to allocate to each stakeholder group and explain their reasoning.
- Climate Change: Once the students on the Water District Board have decided on their allocations, introduce a "climate crisis" where the actual amount of available water is less than what was predicted.
Look up the water usage totals and projected needs in your area or state.
Research the process that water districts use to allocate water, including the doctrine of prior appropriation.
Research and prepare reports on ways each stakeholder group can feasibly decrease their demand for water.