Educational Resources

SimWater: Simulating water supply, demand, & management

Colorful layers of sand and gravel as viewed through the wall of a small glass demonstration tank. Colorful dye highlights the path of water flow.
Colorful layers of sand and gravel as viewed through the wall of a small glass demonstration tank. Colorful dye highlights the path of water flow.
Help understand the decisions water managers make, including questions like: Who receives water? And how much agriculture can we sustain? This activity includes 1) precipitation maps, 2) land use areas, 3) sample activity instructions, and 4) Excel template.

Grades 6 - 12
Hydrology • Engineering/MethodDevelopment • Modeling/ComputationalScience • SocialScience
Activity • Lesson Plan


Educational Objectives

Describe aspects of the decisionmaking process for water managers, including how they answer questions like:

  • Who receives water?
  • And how much agriculture can we sustain?

Audience
K-12


NGSS Crosscutting Concepts: Scale, Proportion, and Quantity | Systems and System Models | Energy and Matter - Flows, Cycles, and Conservation | Stability and Change

NGSS Science & Engineering Practices: Analyzing and Interpreting Data | Developing and Using Models | Constructing Explanations and Designing Solutions | Using Mathematics and Computational Thinking

NGSS Disciplinary Core Ideas: ESS3 - Earth and Human Activity | ETS2 - Links Among Engineering, Technology, Science, and Society


Observatory: Sierra CZO

Author(s): Ryan Lucas, Michelle Gilmore, Erin Stacy (all at Southern Sierra CZO)


Contact(s):


Funding: NSF CZO


Details for this Resource

Water managers balance water needs with water availability. In this activity designed for 10th-12th graders, students work through water budgeting calculations and allocate land and water, simulating the some of the issues water managers solve as they regulate complex systems of water storage, delivery, and consumption.

Note: This activity was originally developed for an American Geosciences Institute teacher workshop.