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Database Provider




9th, 10th, 11th, 12th


Science, Biology, Earth and Space Sciences

Regional Focus

North America, United States, USA - West


YouTube Video

Who's Really Using Up the Water in the American West?

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  • This video explores water consumption in the Western United States, focusing on the enormous amount of water used for agriculture and the solutions to water scarcity.
Teaching Tips


  • This video visually compares the water used for irrigated farming, industrial use, and residential use.
  • It is easy to understand and provides more than one perspective on the solutions.

Additional Prerequisites

  • Students should be familiar with the concept of irrigation.
  • This video contains ads.


  • Connect this video to lessons about the effects of agriculture on the climate.
  • Teachers could use this as a hook to evaluate the pros and cons of raising cows as livestock.
  • It could lead to a discussion of different alternatives to beef that are more sustainable.
  • It could be used in an economics class to evaluate the costs and benefits of rotational fallowing on farmers.
Scientist Notes
This interesting video highlights where the Colorado River water is used and what sacrifices need to be made so metropolitan areas in the Western U.S. do not run out of water. This resource is recommended for teaching.
  • Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS)
    • ESS3: Earth and Human Activity
      • HS-ESS3-3 Create a computational simulation to illustrate the relationships among management of natural resources, the sustainability of human populations, and biodiversity.
      • HS-ESS3-4 Evaluate or refine a technological solution that reduces impacts of human activities on natural systems.
  • Common Core English Language Arts Standards (CCSS.ELA)
    • Speaking & Listening (K-12)
      • CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.SL.11-12.3 Evaluate a speaker's point of view, reasoning, and use of evidence and rhetoric, assessing the stance, premises, links among ideas, word choice, points of emphasis, and tone used.
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