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Severe drought reignites conflicts over land and water use

August 9, 2021

Severe drought reignites conflicts over land and water use

Ask students: Who are the groups involved in this conflict? What happened to the compromise reached in 2010? Why isn’t there enough water for everyone who needs it this year?

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Water Scarcity in the Western U.S.

Vast stretches of the Western U.S. have suffered under scorching temperatures, rampant wildfires and a years-long drought that’s depleting lakes and reservoirs. The water scarcity is tearing apart one southern Oregon community where farmers, native tribes and endangered species are all struggling to survive this summer. Watch the video and answer the discussion questions below. To read the transcript of the video, click here.

Discussion questions: 

Warm up questions: Have your students identify the 5Ws and an H:

    • Who are the groups involved in this conflict?
    • What happened to the compromise reached in 2010?
    • Since when has Klamath Lake been providing water for surrounding farms?
    • Where is Klamath Lake located?
    • Why isn’t there enough water for everyone who needs it this year?
    • How many Koptu used to be in Klamath Lake? What about today?

Focus questions: 

  1. What do you think is the relationship between environmental protection and community relations, based on this piece?

Media literacy: The narrator of the video, Stephanie Sy, is sometimes speaking in a voiceover of other video clips, and sometimes shows up in the videos themselves. What effect does this slight difference in audio style have on the viewer? 

Additional Resources:

  • Check out this article covering the history of national reparations here.
  • PBS NewsHour’s series, Turning Points, focuses on stories from Native peoples of Canada. What similarities do you notice between land disputes for Native Americans and Native Canadians? Check out the series here.

PBS NewsHour Classroom
PBS NewsHour Classroom helps teachers and students identify the who, what, where and why-it-matters of the major national and international news stories. The site combines the best of NewsHour's reliable, trustworthy news program with lesson plans developed specifically for... See More
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