P.S. Illinois: Water Shortage a Real Problem Unless We Plan
Critical water shortages threaten the United States and the entire world. Paul Simon details the impacts of a dwindling water supply and a growing global population, and explores possible solutions for averting catastrophic water shortages.
Water is needed to drink, for cooking, for bathing, to irrigate crops, to generate energy, to cool reactors at power plants, and prevent wildfires. Water is a source of recreation and home to many edible fish.
How will a water shortage impact your community?
Are there jobs that are dependent upon maintaining water levels?
Clean drinking water is needed to maintain health. Contaminated water harbors diseases and parasites that are particularly harmful to the young and the elderly.
How will limited access to clean water affect you and your community?
How will limited access to clean water affect your country?
Supply and Demand:
As with all resources, the price of water is dictated by the law of supply and demand. If the supply is scarce, the demand will be great.
How will supply and demand impact the availability of water in your community?
How will supply and demand impact your household’s ability to purchase enough water to meet current needs?
How might water shortages in California affect Illinois citizens in terms of food supply and the economy?
Many areas suffering from severe drought and water shortages experience unstable political systems and security issues. Sub-Saharan African countries are a prime example.
How might a water shortage in the Middle East affect the rest of the world?
Discuss how the political system and citizen safety of the United States might be impacted by a national water shortage?
The background essay links to an official biography of Senator Paul Simon at Southern Illinois University's Public Policy Institute. Teachers are welcome to copy and paste the text of the biography into their own documents.