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Database Provider

Author

TED-Ed

Grades

6th, 7th, 8th, 9th, 10th, 11th, 12th

Subjects

Science, Social Studies, Biology, Earth and Space Sciences, Geography

Resource Types

  • Videos, 5 minutes, 19 seconds, CC, Subtitles
  • Interactive Media
  • Assessments

Regional Focus

Global

Are We Running Out of Clean Water?

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Synopsis
  • This video explains why more than half of the world's population experiences water scarcity for at least one month out of the year, even though water covers 71% of the Earth's surface. 
  • Students will learn reasons why we're running out of water, current estimates of water scarcity, and what the agriculture industry is doing to reduce its impact on our water supply. 
Teaching Tips

Positives

  • This video uses engaging animation and supportive graphs to keep viewers' attention. 
  • The narrator touches on relatable issues such as food waste, agriculture, and vegetarianism to help convey how we all might be able to play a part in solving this problem. 

Additional Prerequisites

  • Teachers and students must sign in to use the interactive features of the website. 
  • It may be helpful for students to have a basic understanding of some of the vocabulary in the video such as underground reservoirs, aquifers, and permafrost. 

Differentiation

  • Students could work in groups to research irrigation techniques that farmers are using to reduce the impact of the agriculture industry of our water supply. 
  • Students could use the linked water footprint calculator to look for individual actions that can save water.
  • This lesson plan could give students the opportunity to research the differences between regenerative farming and industrial livestock operations to see how they impact our environment differently. 
  • Language arts teachers could share this short video about the implications of food waste and have students discuss how food waste impacts our clean water supply along with other environmental issues. 
  • Other resources on this topic include this interactive global map which provides information about risks to clean water supplies and solutions, this interactive map that shows how watersheds work, and this activity on protecting watersheds. 
Scientist Notes
The impact of human activities on fresh water access is explained in this video. Agriculture and other activities utilize roughly 90% of fresh water globally, resulting in increased demand for fresh water. To avoid water scarcity for the expanding population, this sector must be reimagined. It is suggested that this resource be used in the classroom.
Standards

This resource addresses the listed standards. To fully meet standards, search for more related resources.

  • Science
    • ESS2: Earth's Systems
      • HS-ESS2-5. Plan and conduct an investigation of the properties of water and its effects on Earth materials and surface processes.
    • ETS1: Engineering Design
      • HS-ETS1-1. Analyze a major global challenge to specify qualitative and quantitative criteria and constraints for solutions that account for societal needs and wants.
    • LS2: Ecosystems: Interactions, Energy, and Dynamics
      • MS-LS2-1. Analyze and interpret data to provide evidence for the effects of resource availability on organisms and populations of organisms in an ecosystem.
      • MS-LS2-4. Construct an argument supported by empirical evidence that changes to physical or biological components of an ecosystem affect populations.
      • HS-LS2-7. Design, evaluate, and refine a solution for reducing the impacts of human activities on the environment and biodiversity.
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