Getting Them Started

Introduce them to the article

As Canadians we are all too familiar with spring runoff. This includes such things as deep puddles on city streets which splash as cars go by, water pouring out of backyards as the snow melts, perhaps flooding basements, all the way up to major lake and river flooding which causes multi million-dollar destruction. This annual challenge affects us all but for some it is more than just an inconvenience. It is, in fact, a major intrusion which affects their very homes and way of life. Yet the problem seems to continually get worse. Identifying the sources of this problem, however, is not an east task and how you control it becomes a difficult problem indeed when you examine all those who have a vested interest in the decisions. This article examines the impact of rising spring water on Lake Ontario and the complications associated with strategies to control it.

Reading it with them

When you examine the article closely with your son or daughter look carefully at the various stakeholders who are involved with any decisions and discuss with them what they believe the priorities should be.

Terms to explain

  • International Joint Commission
  • Plan 2014

Key things they can learn from it

  • Who is impacted by Lake Ontario water levels
  • Who has the decision-making power over actions to address the water level
  • What causes the flooding
  • Areas most affected by this problem
Helping Them Learn

 Sample questions to pose

  • How does deforestation and urban development affect water runoff?
  • What impact is climate change having on this problem?
  • What strategies can be utilized to control the runoff?
  • Do governments have an obligation to assist flood victims?
  • What controls are in place to control water levels in Lake Ontario?

Challenges to look into

  • What are the sources of runoff that cause this flooding?
  • What plans are in place to address it?

Seeking their opinions

  • Who should have priority when controlling lake levels?
  • Do urban developers have any responsibility when it comes to controlling spring runoff?
Additional Learning

Helpful Internet searches

Activities to do together

  • Examine how locks are used to control water levels.
  • Research Plan 2014
  • Explore on-line videos to view the extent of runoff damage.