California is thirsty!

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PLEASE NOTE: This guide was originally written in French. If you are using the English version of our site, you will see an automatic translation. You can change the language from the menu in the site header or see our English language guides here.

The state of California has been experiencing an unparalleled drought for several hundred years. The Government is in the process of legislating so that the population abandons the idea of the American dream.
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"State Governor Jerry Brown took emergency measures two weeks ago, particularly watering lawns, with a ban on watering them more than twice a week or on having jet systems. machines that squirt on sidewalks or driveways. "
“California is currently going through the worst drought in its history. The most populous state in the United States will take years to recover, making water an increasingly coveted resource. Enough to give life to a famous quote attributed to Mark Twain: "In California, whiskey is meant to be drunk, while water leads to brawl." "
Source: La


At the end of the activities, the student will be able to:
- Evaluate the impacts of drought on the population;
- Imagine solutions to avoid drought;
- Compare the Californian situation with that of other desert regions.

Suggested Activities

ACTIVITY 1: An alternative to water

Lack of water can force society to change its lifestyle and leisure time. It is important to make students aware of the importance of saving water - no matter where you live. The following activity should allow students to imagine alternatives to the use of water.
After viewing this video and read this item, ask the pupils - alone or in teams - to imagine other alternatives, than those proposed, to reduce their water consumption. The students will then be invited to develop an effective method to convince the population to reduce their consumption, without this being punitive.
Students will then be invited to present their results to the group.


ACTIVITY 2: The inhabited desert

Some areas of California have a desert climate (source Wikipedia), but these are also densely populated areas. This region is not the only one of its kind, several other deserts are also densely populated.
Using Google maps, ask students to locate the desert regions where a large population has chosen to settle. Once this location has been established, the students are invited to choose one and try to determine the reasons why the population settled there (presence of important natural resources, forced sedentarization, strategic location, etc. )
Students are invited to take turns presenting the results of their research.

ACTIVITY 3: The Californian situation

Using the following links, have students analyze why the situation in California is as it is right now. Students also have the opportunity to see the current impact of this drought on California territory.
California desperately needs the rain
Before / after: The effects of drought in California
Historic drought in California: Obama wants to fight against global warming
Drought in California: they paint their lawns green
Heat, drought and fires in California
California at a stalemate in development
The Underside of the Cards [video]

More about the magazine

Lawn Hunt is on in California
La Presse, August 24, 2014
Water rush in California
La Presse, August 27, 2014
Dead Sea: floods and drought
The Dead Sea under threat
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