Arizona House bill proposes to teach students about the drought

TUCSON, Ariz. (KGUN) — Whether it’s learning how to grow plants, take care of animals, or learn about agriculture mechanics, Tanque Verde High School’s agriculture program is already preparing the future farmers of Arizona.

Senior Aidan Vimmerstedt is thinking about being a livestock inspector and is in the agriculture class at the high school.

He’s learning how to overcome water cuts and shortages, use less water for crops, and recycle water.

House representatives from Arizona are hoping to pass House Bill 2413, which would let teachers apply for a grant to learn how to teach students about Arizona’s drought and how to save water.

“Our government officials have to realize that water’s not going to last forever, especially in somewhere as dry as Arizona,” Vimmerstedt said.

His teacher Craig Bal gives them real-life scenarios such as Arizona having to cut 21 percent of its water from the Colorado River.

He also addresses whether they would have to switch crops or the methods of water they use.

That’s why students learn about water wells, rainwater harvesting, the price of water and about the legal aspects surrounding water.

Bal is already planning to have a drip irrigation system installed at the school next year.

“We’re going to do some rain water harvesting right here. We’re going to do a gutter and the spout will come down right here…” he explained to students.

Senior Tyler Walker is in Bal’s class and is already learning about drip and flood irrigation.

“The water goes straight to the base of the root so it gets away from that evaporation effect,” Walker said about drip irrigation.

However, he feels like kids his age don’t know enough about the drought.

“We’re young and not everyone really understands that water is a limited supply here especially since we’re in the desert,” he said.

Students work in a greenhouse, learning how to water plants properly and about how calcium and minerals build up in different water systems.

“Instead of just being stuck in a classroom, you really get to be hands on,” Walker said.


Andrew Christiansen is a reporter for KGUN 9. Before joining the team, Andrew reported in Corpus Christi, Texas for KRIS6 News, Action 10 News and guest reported in Spanish for Telemundo Corpus Christi. Share your story ideas with Andrew by emailing [email protected] or by connecting on Facebook, or Twitter.


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