Not so long ago, Australia was in the midst of a terrible drought. From 2003 - til 2010 Australia suffered through it's worst drought in recorded history. During this time I met my husband. He was a Goulburn boy that had moved to Wollongong for work. We went to visit his family, and this was my introduction to the drought. I had never experienced a place so dry, and so devoid of life! They were one of the worst affected townships in the state of New South Wales, and were on level 5 water restrictions. I became very aware at how precious water was - especially when staying on his parents' property that was supplied by tank water! I had the quickest showers of my life!!! It also struck me when I learnt that his nieces and nephews had never seen rain before!!! It wasn't until the many flood events from 2010 - 2012 that the drought was declared over.
So when it came time to teach my coastal students about the different ecosystems in Australia, and teach them about the importance of water, I was excited when I heard that the ABC had created a game that taught students about how water is used, and how important it is for our survival. The ABC Catchment Detox game challenges students, individually or in groups, to manage their own river catchment area so that after 100 years they have a healthy economy and a healthy environment. There's plenty of information to support teachers, and the key messages students will get from the game are about the catchment ecosystem, water planning, having a healthy environment, producing food, agricultural practices and research. So check it out, and set it up in your classroom. (If you're student's have ever played the game The Sims, then they will quickly pick this up). My student's really enjoyed the challenge provided, and learnt about the precious resource that it water!!!