Biology,  Earth & Environmental Sciences

Earth Day and Water Conservation

April 22, 2015

California is in the grips of a major drought, as 2015 is on track to be driest year since record-keeping began in 1895! The drought has brought water conservation and water quality issues to the forefront of many Californians' daily lives, as mandatory restrictions are being implemented across the state.

rainfall graph

Although the drought is a challenge for the state, it is a good opportunity to bring current issues into the classroom. Water is a finite resource that we all share and need every day to live and thrive. An excellent example of this is Folsom Lake Reservoir, which is just 30 minutes from PASCO's headquarters in Roseville, California. Folsom Lake provides potable water to surrounding cities, agriculture, and industry. It feeds water to the American River (a critical habitat to salmon and steelhead) and finally into the Sacramento River, which is a navigable waterway.

Throughout 2015 we’ll be using the Advanced Water Quality Sensor, Weather Sensor, and the Turbidity Sensor to track water quality at Folsom Lake Reservoir, and we’ll be sharing the results with you. What changes do you think we will observe as the lake volume drops?

Bio table

For Earth Day this year, consider having a discussion with your students about their local sources of water, how it’s used, and what conservation efforts they can lead to best manage our precious water resources. 

Folsom fishing

Mike Blasberg (Biology Product Manager) and JJ Plank (Physics Curriculum Developer & Trainer) with spotted bass. One temporary advantage to the low water: the fish are easier to catch!

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