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OCCC Reads 2015-2016: Water Matters: Chapter 15: Working with Nature

This guide provides a range of resources to use for OCCC Reads 2015-2016.

Chapter Summary


This chapter provides alternatives for water sanitation, collection, and conservation that are “low-impact” and better options than “high-impact” approaches such as large dams, long distance water diversion, and the altering of the natural course of a body of water. Although these “high-impact” approaches have improved health, provide reliable access to water, and provide a source of energy, there is now a need for more “low-impact” approaches. The authors lay out some options such as a focus on the benefits of wetlands, redirecting rainwater, harvesting rainwater, and recycling of wastewater. They provide several examples of current projects that utilize these options successfully. 

Why Use this Chapter?

Why use this chapter:

This chapter provides students with water conservation ideas that are easy to understand and support.


Possible uses in the classroom:

  • Have the students, as individual or in groups, research each of the low-impact options and give a presentation on what the pros and cons are of the approach.
  • This chapter discusses the Mekong River and the consequences it is experiencing due to human intervention. Students could research this or other water ecosystems. Students could possibly focus on one major impact such as animals that are endangered or the impact on food availability.
  • Have students find a low-impact initiative in Oklahoma and report back on what the project is and what the impact might be.