Water Availability and Usage

Clean Water and Quality of Life- Math Extension

Students will view the slide show "Water Source Protection" featuring Peace Corps Volunteer Lauren Fry. They will then explore the numerical relationships between water supply (gallons of water filtered per day) and demand (gallons of water needed by the community).


  • Students will use mathematical reasoning to make predictions
  • Students will evaluate discrepancies between the supply of and the demand for a resource


  1. Begin by viewing Lauren Fry's slide show Water Source Protection and discussing central concepts using the accompanying lesson plan.
  2. Have students consider a scenario related to the use of water from a springbox.

For example: If the springbox storage tank filled up at 2 gallons per hour, there were 24 people who used water from the tank, and each person used 5 gallons of water per day:

  1. Then, ask students to monitor their own water usage for a day. Would the springbox in their scenario provide enough water for the class, based on students' current water usage patterns? If not, how could they adjust their habits? 

Frameworks & Standards

Enduring Understandings

  • Monitoring resource usage can help inform sustainable decision-making
  • An individual's overconsumption of a finite resource can adversely affect others

Essential Questions

  • What are potential consequences when demand for a resource exceeds the supply? How might negative consequences be prevented?
  • How can patterns from the past help us make predictions about the future?


Common Core State Standards for Mathematics

  • Measurement and Data
    • Solve problems involving measurement and estimation of intervals of time, liquid volumes, and masses of objects.
    • Solve problems involving measurement and conversion of measurements from a larger unit to a smaller unit.

National Science Education Standards

  • Content Standard F: Science in Personal and Social Perspectives
    • Populations, resources, and environments

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