Conflict has surrounded the Truckee, Carson and Walker River Basins for decades. Key issues include historical use on tribal lands, historical and current water rights, threats to water quality, and wildlife habitat protection. This program teaches youth about Nevada’s water issues and helps them develop the skills needed to address future water conflicts.
The conflict over water in northwestern Nevada typically involves adult stakeholders with little youth exposure. But, since youth are our future decision-makers and resource managers, it’s important to have a program to teach them about Nevada’s water issues and help them understand how to address water conflict.
Teaching students to collaborate is important to resolving future environmental issues. Many experts believe conventional litigious and legislative approaches don’t work because they encourage those on the losing end of the confrontation to undermine solutions. Learning about collaboration, however, will help youth to find lasting sustainable solutions to future water shortages and water quality issues. What’s more, studies have shown that people are demanding more involvement in the public decisions affecting natural resources in which they have a vested stake. This curriculum prepares students for that role.