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Chronological Reasoning and Causation

Environmental Issues: Is there enough water?

  1. Load High Bridge in New York City Built to Accommodate the Croton Aqueduct in Main Image Viewer
  2. Load Croton Dam from Above, Showing Spillways, Gates, and Bridges in Main Image Viewer
  3. Load New York. Croton Dam and end of reservoir, Westchester Co. in Main Image Viewer
  4. Load Ashokan Reservoir, New York, Aerial View in Main Image Viewer
  5. Load Catskill Aqueduct in Main Image Viewer
  6. Load Gilboa Reservoir, Looking South in Main Image Viewer
  7. Load Map of the Northern Section of New York City's Water System in Main Image Viewer
  8. Load Map of the Southern Section of New York City's Water System in Main Image Viewer

Suggested Teaching Instructions

Setting the Stage
Introduce the New York City water system using this video from PBS Learning Media so students will understand the current system for New York City’s water supply. Discuss the current system and possible impacts on surrounding areas.
Liquid Assets: A Water System


Learning Standards and Practices
Social Studies
8.8 DEMOGRAPHIC CHANGE: After World War II, the population of the United States rose sharply as a result of both natural increases and immigration. Population movements have resulted in changes to the American landscape and shifting political power. An aging population is affecting the economy and straining public resources. (Standards: 1, 3, 4, 5; Themes: ID, GEO, SOC, GOV, ECO)
8.8c Pollution, population growth, the consumption of natural resources, clearing of land for human sustenance, and large-scale industrialization have put added stress on the global environment.
Ø Students will explore the effects of pollution, industrialization, and population growth on the environment, including urban areas (Love Canal), plant and animal life (Adirondack Park) and energy sources (Three Mile Island).
Science – 8th Grade Earth Science (Human Impact)
MS-ESS3-3. Apply scientific principles to design a method for monitoring and minimizing a human impact on the environment.* [Clarification Statement: Examples of the design process could include examining human environmental impacts, assessing the kinds of solutions that are feasible, and designing and evaluating solutions that could reduce that impact. Examples of human impacts could include water usage (such as the withdrawal of water from streams and aquifers or the construction of dams and levees), land usage (such as urban development, agriculture, or the removal of wetlands), and pollution (such as of the air, water, or land).]
MS-ESS3-4. Construct an argument supported by evidence for how increases in human population and per-capita consumption of natural resources impact Earth’s systems. [Clarification Statement: Examples of evidence could include grade-appropriate databases on human populations and the rates of consumption of food and natural resources (such as freshwater, mineral, and energy). Examples of impacts could include changes to the appearance, composition, and structure of Earth’s systems as well as the rates at which they change. The consequences of increases in human populations and consumption of natural resources are described by science, but science does not make the decisions for the actions society takes.]