University of Illinois Extension
Environmental Awareness: Knowing Your World

What Can We Do If We Have Water Shortage?

Some people get their water from a municipal or rural water company. Others have their own wells. Most of the time, we don't have to worry about a shortage of water in Illinois. There have been some times, however, when a drought has raised concerns about not having enough water to go around.

To find out about past droughts, ask members of your family to see if they remember how they were affected by a drought. If you or relatives live on a farm, ask what had to be done to provide water for livestock.

Invite a municipal or rural water representative to talk about what their company would do during a long drought. Have the person also discuss the source of their water supply (well, lake) and explain how much water is pumped for use each day. Also ask how much storage capacity is available, and how much excess capacity is currently available. Find out where cleaned wastewater is released, and if this is accessible to other water suppliers.

Create a list of things households can do to save water. Are the items listed things that can be done even if there is not a water shortage?

Read about other places in the United States or the world where there is a constant shortage of water, and what people do to get water in those locations.

Classes can be divided into groups, with each group assigned one of the tasks mentioned. Each group can present their findings to the whole class, or other classes.

 

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