Problem Library

Share and Share Alike

Length: 3-6 hours

Discipline: Faculty Development

Level: Introductory

Author: Groh, Susan

This problem addresses the use of the Colorado River by various stakeholders competing for a limited amount of water. As power generation through nuclear energy is being reconsidered, one of the major issues is the amount of water needed by these power plants at the expense of other demands on the same resource. This three-stage problem for a faculty development workshop is intended as an “experience it yourself” opportunity for faculty to assume the role of a student faced with a complex, multidimensional problem. Working with materials directly extracted from newspaper articles and public sources, teams develop an understanding of the primary issues involved in Colorado River water allocation and the various interests competing in the use and protection of the most important river system in the American Southwest. Blue Castle Holdings is one of those stakeholders seeking to extract and use water to cool a proposed nuclear power plant on the Green River in Utah. Teams are assigned a stakeholder role and make a presentation to the State Engineer of Utah addressing the elements required for approval of an application. The problem employs written, oral and visual communication and requires the faculty to conduct individual research and work effectively as a team member.

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