Public Issues Related to

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Public Issues Related to
Geography

Unit 3 Lesson 8


Content Expectations


4
-

G1.0.4:

Use geographic tools and
technologies, stories, songs, and pictures
to answer geographic questions about the
United States.


4
-

G5.0.1:

Assess the positive and
negative effects of human activities on the
physical environment of the United States.


4


P3.1.1:

Identify public issues in the
United States that influence the daily lives
of its citizens.



HUMAN

ACTIVITIES

CHANGES IN THE

ENVIRONMENT

PUBLIC ISSUES

RELATING TO HUMAN
ACTIVITIES

Positive


Negative


Big Ideas of Lesson 8, Unit 3


1.
Human activities such as mining, drilling
for oil, constructing dams, diverting water,
and expanding cities result in changes to
the environment.

2.
Since environmental changes can have
negative consequences, people often
disagree about how to control these
activities.

3.
Disagreements about how to solve
problems caused by environmental
changes may become public issues.


public issue


an issue that affects many, many people

Example
:

Public issues are often related to
environmental issues like offshore drilling and
water diversion.

(SS040308)

Human activities such as farming, mining,
drilling for oil, lumbering, and damming
rivers modify, or change, the environment.
Because there are often negative
consequences when people change the
environment, people often disagree about
how to control these activities.






“issue”


T
he word "issue" has several different
meanings. One common usage is to
describe an "issue" of a printed product,
such as a stamp or a newspaper. When
"issue" is used within a governmental
context, it refers to an idea, problem, or
proposal about which different people or
groups of citizens have differing points of
view.





“ public issue”


This term refers to issues that effects large
groups of people including communities,
counties, states, and the country.



Criteria for Defining a Public
I
ssue


1.
The issue is of public concern to the
citizens in a whole community or a large
part of it.

2.
People disagree on how to settle or
resolve the public issue.

3.
Disagreements about the public issue
are based on different points of view.

Look at “Newspaper Article #1.” This article
describes a public issue relating to an
environmental problem. Read the article
together and identify the public issue. Share
their ideas about the issue.

Mark Sayre, Investigative Reporter

White Pine County Fights Water Pipeline

Updated: Sep 15, 2006 10:28 AM EDT


Las Vegas is growing by the minute, and so is our
need for water.


Officials say we need another
source to draw from, and they want to pipe it in
from rural Nevada counties.

Water officials are considering a pipeline from
White Pine County but not everyone there is
thrilled about the idea.

In White Pine County along the Nevada Utah
border, residents are not giving up hope that they
can stop what they are calling Clark County's
water grab.

Baker, Nevada with a population of

175 sits
above one of the ground water basins Southern
Nevada wants to tap.

Residents there are objecting to the pipeline.
They plan to speak out when state officials plan
take testimony on Friday about the pipeline plan.

"Because we have no money and we can not
compete with the Southern Nevada Water
Authority, the media and these public comments
are the only way we have any real impact," said
Denys
Koyle
, White Pine County resident.

Residents are not mincing any words about how
they feel about the SNWA.

"They are going suck every nice place in the state
dry," said Cecelia Shipp, Utah resident.

The SNWA wants to tap six underground basins
in Lincoln and White Pine Counties and build a
250
-
mile pipeline to Las Vegas. Despite
assurances to Southern Nevada officials to the
contrary, residents here fear such a plan will draw
down their water basins which they depend on for
livestock, crop and survival.

"They just see us as their solution and we do not
see us as their solution.


I am sure if there was a
closer basin they would have picked that first,"
Said Tonia Harvey, White Pine County resident.

The testimony on Friday will be heard by the state
water engineer who will make the final decision
on the pipeline plan.

He will also hear directly
from White Pine County leaders next week as
they head to Carson City.

Source:
White Pine County Fights Water Pipeline.
Las Vegas Now. 23

November 2008
<
http://www.lasvegasnow.com/global/story.asp?s
=5412769
>.

Note that the actual issue is whether or
not to build a pipeline to carry water
from rural areas in Nevada to Las
Vegas.

T
he “Looking at Both Sides of an Issue” chart is
on the next slide. Write the issue in the
appropriate place using the Newspaper Article #1.
It may be helpful to highlight one side in one color
and the other side in a different color.

YES

NO

Looking at Both Sides of an Issue

Public Issue:

______________________________________________

__________________________________________________________



1.
Yes:

The need for water in Las Vegas is
growing. Las Vegas needs a new source of
water. Water is available in White Pine County.
The Water Authority believes the pipeline will
not affect the water of people living in the rural
areas.

1.
No:
People living in White Pine County may
find their livestock and crops in danger. The
pipeline may even endanger the survival of the
people there. The pipeline is not the solution to
the problem of water in Las Vegas. The
pipeline might lead to other water problems in
other places.



What might be another alternative to the pipeline
that would help solve the water problems of Las
Vegas?



Read “Analyzing Quotations.”


Identify the possible solution to water problems of
the dry southwest described in the quotations.


Note that this solution involves diverting water
from the Great Lakes to the Southwest


Analyzing Quotations

"I think a large
-
scale diversion of water from the
Great Lakes is fairly likely sooner than later," said
Noah Hall, an environmental law professor with
Wayne State University in Michigan. "There are a
lot of frightening developments out West and in
the Southeast and the climate change models
don't offer much hope."

David
Naftzger
, executive director of the Council
of Great Lakes Governors, said a water grab is
virtually assured.



Analyzing Quotations

"
Look at a map showing water shortages and
population growth and see how they match up,"
he said. "Now look at us and you can see a
concern that, as time moves on, those areas will
be looking at the Great Lakes to bring them water
--

either through a tanker, pipeline or natural
channels."




Working in groups with the “Looking at Both
Sides of an Issue” chart, write the following issue
in the appropriate place on the sheet: Should
water be diverted from the Great Lakes to dry
places in the Southwest? Groups should work
together to list reasons for each side of this issue
on the chart under the columns “Yes” and “No.”

YES

NO

Looking at Both Sides of an Issue

Public Issue:

______________________________________________

__________________________________________________________


YES

NO


People need water to survive
and places in the Southwest are
short of water.

There are economic problems
in many states. Selling water
could raise needed funds.

Water in the should belong to
everybody in the country.

It’s not fair that some states
have lots and lots of water while
others are struggling to find
enough water for people.


The are a precious natural
resource, therefore no water
should be taken from them.

Dry places should work harder
at conserving water rather than
looking for places to get water.

It would be too costly to move
water from the to the
Southwest.

Great Lakes water should be
controlled by people in the
region.


Public Issue:

Should water be diverted from the Great Lakes to
dry places in the Southwest?




Take a quick vote regarding positions on this
issue. Note that if time permits you may want
them to write their position and give a reason.

Can anything be done to prevent water diversion
from the Great Lakes?




Newspaper Article #2

Pact puts plug on Great Lakes water diversion

Posted Oct 14, 2008 @ 08:00 AM


Rochester, N.Y.




It is now federal law that water in the Great
Lakes and St. Lawrence River Basin cannot be
diverted to other parts of the country or the
world




other than what is included in previous
agreements.


President George Bush on Oct. 3 signed the
Great Lakes
-
St. Lawrence River Basin Water
Resources Compact, which had been ratified by
the eight affected states


including New York


and the Canadian provinces of Ontario and Quebec.


Newspaper Article #2

Pact puts plug on Great Lakes water diversion

Posted Oct 14, 2008 @ 08:00 AM


More than 10 years in the making, the compact
prohibits most new and increased diversions of
water and calls for registration of water
withdrawals of 100,000 gallons a day or more in
any 30
-
day period.

“Overall, the compact is intended to sustain, over
long term, the current water supplies and levels of
the Great Lakes,” said Don
Zelazny
, Great Lakes
programs coordinator with the state Department
of Environmental Conservation.



Newspaper Article #2

Pact puts plug on Great Lakes water diversion

Posted Oct 14, 2008 @ 08:00 AM



“It’s going to accomplish that by banning any
new or increased diversions of water, which
would be a major threat to the system,” he said.
“The fact that we were able to get all eight states
and two provinces to agree to a ban and how we
would manage the resource was a pretty
significant step.”






Newspaper Article #2

Pact puts plug on Great Lakes water diversion

Posted Oct 14, 2008 @ 08:00 AM




The other states are Illinois, Indiana, Michigan,
Minnesota, Ohio, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin,
all of which border at least one of the five great
lakes: Ontario, Erie, Huron, Michigan and
Superior.





Federal laws now prevent water from being
diverted from the Great Lakes to other parts of
the country. In a later civics unit students will
have the opportunity to learn more about public
issues and the role of the federal government in
resolving public issues.



As a culminating activity, use newspapers,
websites, and news telecasts to identify other
current environmental public issues. Look for
information regarding the lifting of the ban on
offshore drilling.

Teacher Resource

Egbo
, Carol.
Supplemental Materials (Unit 3,
Lesson87).
Teacher
-
made material. Michigan
Citizenship Collaborative, 2008.

Pact puts plug on Great Lakes water diversion.
MPNnow.com. 23 November 2008
<
http://www.mpnnow.com/news/x502300365/Pact
-
puts
-
plug
-
on
-
Great
-
Lakes
-
water
-
diversion
>.

White Pine County Fights Water Pipeline.
Las Vegas
Now. 23

November 2008
<
http://www.lasvegasnow.com/global/story.asp?s=5412
769