Student PBLs » Sixth Grade PBLs

Sixth Grade PBLs

Student PBLs


What do you think a future without water would be like? The answer is no water at all. It's a common known fact that humans cannot live long without water. However, we are very close to that future if we don’t do anything to improve the lack of water in Los Angeles. According to Source 3, both precipitation and snowmelt in Los Angeles has depleted drastically.  Communaly, we should invest in wastewater recycling. According to Source 2, it's a very simple process that can save approximately the same as 409 Olympic swimming pools a day. Individually, people should invest in greywater systems, which are very similar to wastewater recycling but in the home.  Thus, we need to enact efficient individual, communal, and statewide changes if we want to avoid this tragic future. 


Los Angeles is in the middle of a water crisis. According to Source 1, we don't have enough sources of fresh water to keep up with the constant demand, and the sources we do have are rapidly depleting. Climate change, overuse, and LA’s infrastructure deplete the water that we desperately need. Also according to Source 1, climate change depletes snowmelt, a huge source of our water. Overuse such as farming can be a waste of our water and most of our infrastructure is designed to drain our rain water rather than reuse it effectively. In order to fix this disastrous situation, we must think of long term solutions. 


As individuals it always helps to conserve water through small, daily actions but that will only get you so far. According to Source 1, we must think of long-term solutions such as greywater systems. A greywater system is very similar to wastewater recycling in that it reuses your everyday wastewater, however this is used just within the home and has a little more limited supply.  According to Source 4, a greywater system is a system including pipes that connect to your showers, sinks, and washing machines (and bathtubs if you have them) and transport the water to your outdoor garden through tubes and pipes that you can set around. A greywater system is also connected to a timer so that you can easily tend to your plants without much effort. According to Source 5, 70% of the approximate average 120 gallons of water per day is used outside. This just shows how much water we really do use. Also according to Source 4, an average household can produce about 26 gallons of greywater per day and can save about 30% of the overall household usage. In the end, greywater systems can save a lot of household water and prevent people from going crazy with watering their gardens.

Communally, we should invest in more wastewater recycling. According to Source 2, wastewater recycling is when wastewater, such as the water that goes down your drain when you shower, or previously used water, is recycled into new fresh drinkable water. This means that we can continuously reuse the same water over and over which means that we can save a LOT of our water.  Currently, wastewater treatment centers are saving about 296,940,000 gallons of water per day. Of course wastewater recycling has its cons just as well as its pros. These cons include the problem of increase in population truly killing us. For example, if we are only relying on wastewater recycling as our single source of water and the population grows we would not have enough water to satisfy the entire population and would eventually all die. According to Source 1, another problem is that wastewater has very specific rules and regulations to be cleaned which takes up a lot of energy.  However, if we can figure out how to regulate and just how much this water needs to be cleaned we can save so much.


While wastewater recycling is one of many solutions, it is in many ways the best. It is efficient, rather inexpensive, and is a well thought out long-term solution. Along with greywater systems we can conserve and reuse much of our water and stay put with the water we already have instead of rapidly consuming other sources. In conclusion, wastewater recycling and greywater systems will save humanity and most likely keep our great-great grandchildren alive.



Source 1:  Los Angeles Water Issue; Why it's Not Just the Drought 

Source 2:   From Toilet To Tap: The Los Angeles Plan To Recycle

Source 3:

Source 4: 





  Did you know that Los Angeles uses about 100 gallons a day on landscaping and gardens. Fortunately, most native plants only need to be watered once a week! According to source 4, native plants would save about 90% of the water you would use for a regular garden. With native plants, you use less, spend less, and work less. Native plants are something you can do as an individual to save water. But, as a community, shade balls are a significant solution because of the hot climate in LA. According to source 3, Shade balls purify and save 85-90% of the LA reservoir. 


One of the main things that lead to this drought is climate change which is making  LA hotter and hotter. This eventually leads to too much evaporation, which leads to loss of freshwater. According to source 1, California relies on snowpacks for water storage, but with climate change, winters get warmer and snow comes as rain instead.  For example, one of our biggest sources of water, the Sierra Nevada mountains, melts by June, so what used to be a source of water, now evaporates by late spring. In conclusion, climate change has majorly affected our sources of water, and we need to find a solution to save those sources of water from evaporating. 


Our personal choices will help solve the problem because some of these choices can do a lot to help solve the problem. Some things we can do as individuals include, using rain barrels to collect rain water and using low-flow toilets, sinks, along with energy efficient washers.We can  also make sure not to leave the faucet on, take shorter showers,  and plant native plants in your garden. Repeatedly doing these things will lead us to solving the problem. According to Source 2, 30%  of the estimated 29 billion gallons of water used daily by households in the US is used for outdoor lawns and gardens. So one of the steps to individual water conservation is native planting. Native plants like Buckweed, sage, and coyote bush use much less water and are far easier to take care of. In conclusion, our personal choices affect the problem because when each person contributes to solving the problem, we are able to make a change in our water usage.  


  Our community can work together to help solve the problem by using shade balls which are plastic balls that sit on the surface level of any small body of water. With shade balls, we could save millions of gallons each year by preventing evaporation of fresh water in our reservoirs and aqueducts. According to source 3, in 2015, 96,000,000 shade balls were dumped into the LA reservoir. Shade balls are a great way to make sure we don't lose another major source of water. They are black balls filled with water to weigh them down. Thus, the community should raise money to add shade balls to other bodies of water so we don't lose any more water to evaporation. 


  In conclusion, the drought we are in is much worse than it has ever been, so we will have to find a worthy solution to the problem. That solution could be shade balls. We have already used shade balls and they have successfully protected large amounts of water. Additionally, native plants help people save water, time, and money. Thus, one of the biggest questions is, how would LA feel about using shade balls and native plants as our future ?



How Did California's Drought Get So Bad?

EPA Water Sense: Start Saving

Why 96 Million Plastic "Shade Balls" Dumped Into the LA Reservoir May Not Save Water

California Native Plant Watering Guide


According to Adam Smith, Associate Professor of Civil and Environmental Engineering at USC,  “Eighty percent of LA’s rainfall gets dumped into the Santa Monica Bay because there is no suitable way to collect and reuse the rainfall.” This demonstrates the problem with water waste in the Los Angeles area. Fortunately, as individuals, there are ways to save water throughout our daily lives. In addition, we can work together as a community to cover reservoirs and open bodies of water with Shade Balls. We can also install gray water systems, which would  save 3,900 gallons of water every month per household. These problems are heavily impacting our daily lives. Thus, there are many solutions to fix these problems.


Los Angeles is facing a drought that is affecting many people’s lives. Factories and large-scale farming can easily deplete water sources. We are also losing lots of water due to lack of rainfall management and inefficient  water delivery systems such as aqueducts in which water leaks and evaporates into the air, thereby losing more water. Finally, individual people often waste water. For example, did you know that each average person uses 1,500 gallons of H20 per day?


As residents of Los Angeles, we can all do things ourselves to make a change! We can start with shortening our showers and re-using some of the water that we use. Additionally,  we can get things called rain barrels that collect rainwater so you can use that water to water your plants or even use it as drinking water. We can also stop using hoses to wash down our driveways or sidewalks. These are very simple ways to save water throughout our daily lives, and if everyone does this, it will make a change, and it will get us out of this drought.


As a community, there are many things that we can do to fix these problems. We can plant large rainwater collection systems all around LA to collect the rain when it falls, instead of letting it flow into the ocean. Secondly, we can start covering more reservoirs with shade balls which are little plastic balls that cover bodies of water to protect the water from evaporation. Shade balls installed along the Los Angeles River have saved over 300 million gallons of water per year from evaporation. Finally, we can install drainage systems all around LA to collect, then reuse rainwater for things like watering plants or public gardens.


There are many problems with drought, but there are many ways to fix it, and we need to work together to accomplish this. Anyone can make a change, and can do things to help. We can work together to save water and everyone who does this in their daily lives can do this and make a change. If we do what we can to fix these problems, as a whole we can save LA from this drought.



Source 1:  Writing Informational Text Presentation

Source 2:  LA’s Water Issue

Source 3:  LA’s Water Issue: The Missing Pieces (Part 2) 

Source 4: ELA Cornell Notes Practice LA's Water Issue



According to source 1, 80% of California's rainfall goes back to the environment, meaning we are dumping half of our water into the ocean even though we are in a drought! In this essay, we will explore the problems causing LA’s water issue, things that you can do personally to fix it, and what we must do in our community as a whole to solve it. LA’s water problem is a very serious issue, but there are still many solutions available to fix it.


There are many reasons Los Angeles is facing problems with water consumption. For example, lots of Los Angeles's water is just getting dumped back into the ocean. This is because in the past, Los Angeles was worried about flooding, so they turned the LA River into a drainage system, and now as a consequence of that, we are losing lots of usable water. Another reason is that we are using more water than we were in the past, meaning that demand is going up (source 1). This is mainly because of population growth, though people are generally being a little more conservative with their water usage lately. Overall, there are many reasons for Los Angeles's water problem.


There are multiple personal choices you can make to aid Los Angeles's water problem. For example, you can reduce your outdoor water use. According to source 2, outdoor water use accounts for about a third of all the residential water used. While this may not sound like much, that's almost 9 billion gallons per day! Some things you could do to reduce your outdoor water usage is installing more efficient irrigation systems that waste less water, replacing things like a lawn with more eco-friendly plants, such as succulents that don't require much water, or reusing your water from other things for gardening. If you want to aid the water crisis, make sure that most household objects or systems that use water are newer, more efficient versions that use less water, like replacing a toilet that uses a lot of water with a low-flow one. Thus, there are many things that you can do to save water in your home and throughout your life to help get Los Angeles out of this neverending drought.


Our community can work together to solve the problem in a few different ways. Firstly, we can support any policies or bills that would help the water crisis, such as the toilet to tap project (source 3). Additionally, we can work to help raise awareness about this problem, such as online activism, gatherings, posters, and much more. Lastly, we should allocate more of our budget to funding research that could come up with new ways to save water or to help solve the things causing this problem, like climate change. Thus, we can achieve a lot of progress if we work together as a community to fix this issue.


LA’s water issue is a very serious problem, and cannot be fixed easily or with just one solution. However, if we all work together to fix this crisis, we will, and there are many solutions to help us. There are many things causing this drought, and thus many solutions we can use to fix it. You can help within your own home and throughout your life, or you can work with the community to make bigger changes. No matter what you do, it will still make a difference, and the most important thing is to just be conscious and aware of this problem. In conclusion, we all need to work hard to help fix this crisis, and there are many ways in which we can do so.



Source 1:  Los Angeles Water Issue; Why It's Not Just The Drought

Source 2: Outdoor Water Use in the US, WaterSense

Source 3:  From Toilet to Tap, National Geographic



According to Source 1, about 80% of rainfall is dumped into the ocean because there is no efficient way to gather the water. Thus, Los Angeles is losing a ton of freshwater that is needed for the high demand of the growing population. However, there are many solutions for LA's water problems including individual and community actions. For example, people could waste less water outdoors by having a timer inside the sprinkler for watering their gardens and lawns. As a community, LA could work to fix the sewer drains so that less of the rainwater goes directly into the ocean. If everybody takes their own part of using less water it would save a ton of water and eventually one day it would fix LA's water issues.


LA is facing issues with water consumption in several ways. For example, the climate causes the temperatures to get warmer in fall and winter which make less rainwater drop to the ground. Additionally, the snowpack has fallen by 5% which affects how much freshwater is available in our aqueducts and reservoirs. Unfortunately, when rain does happen, about 80% gets directed to the ocean because there is no way to collect the water. In addition, LA's water sources are being wasted by the evaporation of water in the water transport system. Thus, the Colorado River and the Sierras are running out of water due to the aqueduct at Southern California having water leaks that allow water to seep into the ground or evaporate. Finally, the growth of population means more water is being used because each person uses about 1,500 gallons per day. In conclusion, the population worries about LA's water issues and if they will have enough water to live in the future.


Something we can do as individuals to help LA's water issues is using less water on people’s gardens or lawns. For example, we could have a timer in the sprinklers of people's lawns because sometimes people don’t even know they are overdoing the watering. With a timer, people will know if the grass has enough water to grow instead of estimating incorrectly. According to source 2, this strategy can save nearly 9,000 gallons, every time a person uses the sprinkler. This would shrink the amount of water people use outdoors for their own lawn and most of the people who water their lawn do this everyday. This is just one way to save water; imagine the other ways.


The community of LA or California can work to help solve LA's water issues by fixing the sewer drains. According to Source 3, Kelly Sanders said, “most of the water goes to the ocean and mostly is clean but we aren’t using it.” Thus, the community should work to prevent freshwater from going to the sewer drains so no rainwater is dumped into the ocean. Or when the freshwater goes through the sewer pipes they could collect it and put it somewhere safe to keep it from being wasted. Even though the sewer drains were meant to stop floods from happening, it caused freshwater to be thrown out into the ocean. Approximately 80% of rainfall gets wasted because of the sewer drains which brings the freshwater to the ocean where the salt water is. If we addressed this issue, it would collect the 80% water that is being wasted.


In conclusion, if we all work together we could get through this by using strategies that waste less water and fix the public water system that has issues such as leaks and evaporation. If we fix the public water systems it would save a lot of water that would solve big problems for LA’s water issues. Also, if people stop estimating how much they think their gardens or lawns need and start using timers inside the sprinkler, this would change LA's water issues. These two ways of saving water are really good solutions but it still doesn’t solve all the problems with LA’s water issues. Thus, we must continue to create new and brilliant ideas to solve the problem of water in LA.



Source 1:   Los Angeles Water Issue: Why it’s Not Just the Drought

Source 2:  Diego, Juniper, Luis, and Edwin Science Project of LA's water issue

Source 3:  Overview - California Drought




According to Source 1, “Even after pounding holiday storms, 64% of the land in the western states was still experiencing severe to exceptional drought in January which is on track to be the driest on record in some parts.” Thus, Los Angeles is running out of water. This isn’t just because of the weather, although it is a big factor. The infrastructure is a problem as well as our actions as a community, and our individual actions. Drainage systems, unmelted snowpacks, bad water conservation, and over-usage of water are all direct causes of a drought, and we need to fix it.


Though most people would usually blame the current water problem on a drought, there are other problems causing it as well. Firstly, the LA river was turned into a drainage system, which means all the freshwater from rain no longer goes to the water supply. Instead it goes into the ocean, where it becomes salt water which is less useful for humans, animals, and plants. Secondly, the infrastructure of Los Angeles includes a lot of sidewalks. You may be thinking, “that’s not bad”, but a lot of sidewalks means the rainwater can’t seep into the ground, thereby diminishing the groundwater supply. Lastly, the climate has been very harsh, dry and hot, which means that most of the snow on the mountains melts because rain is on the mountains instead. According to source 3, “The California Department of Water Resources announced Tuesday that statewide snowpack had dwindled to 63% of average for this time of year, following an extraordinarily dry start to the year.” Thus,we also have little snowpack water supply. Basically, right now in Los Angeles, more water is going in than out, and that is considered a drought.


Although there are some things that we cannot control about our water usage, we can make some personal actions to help a little bit. The strategies aren’t even that hard, such as taking shorter showers and not letting faucets run too long. Just the little things that, if done by everyone, can make a big difference when it comes to saving water. Some people go a little extreme and do things like put bricks in their toilets, and barely drink any water, but if everyone did a small thing it would become a big thing. It can also benefit you in ways too. According to source 2, “Many doctors say a daily shower is fine for most people. (More than that could start to cause skin problems),  But for many people, two to three times a week is enough and may be even better to maintain good health.” Thus, these small actions may be able to help stop LA/California from running out of water.


Although our personal actions do help if we all do them, we can also save water by doing things as a community. Firstly, we could all have a day where we try to save as much water as possible, or tell each other about new water saving methods. Overall there are many things we can do as a community, all of which can save a ton of water. According source 1. “The average American family uses more than 300 gallons of water per day at home. Roughly 70 percent of this use occurs indoors.”. If we can get the community to use under 300 gallons of water a day for one week we can pay everyone in the community 50-100 dollars.

In conclusion, since Los Angeles is in a drought, and losing a lot of water, we need to do something about it. The things that we can do are save water individually, or  as a community. We can also make petitions for the government to change certain things about the infrastructure of Los Angeles. Overall the water issue right now in Los Angeles in very bad, but if we work together and cooperate, we can fix it.



Source 1:  LA’s Water Issue: Why It’s Not Just The Drought

Source 2:

Source 3: