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    Water Distribution in Peel using
Geographic Information Systems (GIS)

Activity Time: 70 minutes


  • students will use interactive Geographic Information System (GIS) maps to understand how water is distributed in Peel’s lake-based (South Peel) system.

A Peel student’s usual exposure to water is at the end of a tap, where water “magically” appears; always abundant, always available. This activity focuses on the South Peel System, which distributes Lake Ontario water to the vast majority of Peel’s more than one million inhabitants. (The Caledon System provides groundwater, via municipal wells, to a minority of Peel inhabitants. The Caledon System is not addressed in this activity).

This activity makes use of the Peel Water Story (PWS) GIS tool, is available Teachers (and students) unfamiliar with GIS technology are encouraged to try the GIS tutorial found on the PWS GIS Web page; doing so will improve the delivery of this activity.

The effectiveness of the PWS GIS tool depends on computing power, as well as the speed of the Internet connection. Where either is deficient, a capable computer(s) must be found. If a classroom set of capable computers is not available, perhaps students can work together in small groups on a capable computer, or the worksheets can be completed as homework on a home computer, or the activity can be demonstrated by the teacher with a computer overhead projector, where available.

Using the PWS GIS, with the Work Sheet as their guide, students will explore interactive maps that depict exactly how tap water moves from Lake Ontario to our homes and schools in Peel Region. Students will be prompted to find, and in some cases deduce, water distribution facts, in order to complete the Work Sheet’s ‘close’ language exercise.


  • Computer(s) with access to the Internet (see above). The computer must have installed a compatible version of SVG software (free & downloadable from PWS Website).
  • Online GIS tool (and tutorial) (43KB, 6 pages)
  • Student worksheets


  • Familiarize yourself with the Peel Water Story GIS by using the tutorial found on the GIS Web page.
  • By way of an introduction, ensure that your students understand the rudiments of GIS, (as described in the tutorial). Allow them then to explore the Peel Water Story’s GIS pages, perhaps by using the tutorial themselves.
  • For this activity, students may work individually or in groups. (The Work Sheet may also be given as homework).
  • Have students read through the Work Sheet and fill in the blanks with answers acquired from exploring the Peel Water Story’s GIS pages. Some of the ‘close’ answers vary, depending on your school’s location within Peel. (This is why you must do the activity before you use it with students).
  • Have fun, be creative, and remember that GIS can be used for more than just this worksheet.


  • Rural residents in the Town of Caledon (outside of Bolton ) do not use Lake Ontario as a source for their drinking water; where do you think their water comes from?
  • How much does water cost when it comes from the tap? (You can find this info on the Region of Peel website)
  • How much does it cost when purchased at a grocery store?
  • Why is there such a price difference?

Answers to Student Work Sheet:

  • name of school’s City or Town
  • Peel
  • Lakeview
  • Lorne Park
  • Water mains
  • Uphill
  • Water pumps (pumping stations)
  • To avoid freezing during winter
  • Pressure
  • Elevated
  • Meadowvale Reservoir
  • diameter
  • 1500
  • varies: 150mm, 200mm, 300mm
  • wider
  • wider
  • to accommodate different volumes and pressures of water as the biggest water mains that serve everyone branch out to serve smaller, select populations

Source: Developed by Region of Peel’s Public Works Department, Public Education & Outreach.

Contents of this publication may be photocopied provided the source is acknowledged on every page by including the following: Peel Water Story, Public Works Department, the Regional Municipality of Peel

Not to be adapted or reprinted without written permission of the Public Works Department of the Regional Municipality of Peel. Address: 10 Peel Centre Dr., Brampton, Ontario L6T 4B9

Water Distribution in Peel using GIS - Student Work Sheet

When it comes to our daily water supply, most of us have no idea where the water comes from that flows from our faucets, or where waste disappears to after flushing the toilet. Do you?

This exercise will help you learn more about these and other local water facts. Using the Peel Water Story’s GIS site, read through this worksheet and fill in the blanks, circle the correct answers, or write your own responses. Some questions are straight forward, while others require more thinking on your part.

Water Distribution in Peel, Using GIS
(32 KB PDF, 5 pages)

Water Distribution in Peel, Using GIS
(32 KB PDF, 5 pages)

Revised: Monday April 07 2008


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