Governmental Role-Play:

Ethical Dilemmas Surrounding Water Shutoffs in Older American Cities

$0.00$6.00

Winn Constantini, Emmett McKinney, Yasmin Zaerpoor, and Lawrence Susskind

Six party, multi-issue negotiation involving environmental, political, economic and social interest groups, in a shrinking American city, where the water infrastructure is in desperate need of repair.

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Please note: you must order a copy (a.k.a. license/usage fee) for every person participating in the simulation in your course. This simulation has multiple roles, so you will be unable to complete your purchase without meeting the minimum quantity requirement of copies per role.

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PON Teaching Negotiation Resource Center

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Soft copy vs. hard copy

You may order this role simulation in either soft copy (electronic) or hard copy (paper) format. If you select the soft copy option, you will receive an e-mail with a URL (website address) from which you may download an electronic file in Adobe Acrobat PDF format. You will have one week to download your materials from when you receive the email. You are then only authorized to use, print, or share the materials as many times as the number of copies you purchase. The TNRC charges for use of this simulation on a per-participant basis. Therefore, you must purchase a separate copy of this simulation for each person who will be participating, regardless of the number of roles in the simulation. You will only receive a link to one electronic file, which includes all general instructions, confidential instructions, and any teaching notes for the simulation. You should separate out the instructions before distributing to participants.

If you select the hard copy option, you will receive paper copies of this role simulation via the shipping method you select.

For additional information about the soft copy option, please visit our FAQ section, or contact the PON Teaching Negotiation Resource Center at tnrc@law.harvard.edu or 800-258-4406 (within the U.S.) or 301-528-2676 (outside the U.S.).

Please note: At the present time, Teaching Negotiation Resource Center soft copies are compatible with the following versions of the Adobe Acrobat Reader: English, German, French, Spanish, Swedish, Portuguese, Japanese, and Korean. If you have a different version of the Acrobat Reader, you may wish to download one of these at http://www.adobe.com/products/acrobat/readstep2.html, or contact the PON Teaching Negotiation Resource Center at tnrc@law.harvard.edu, 800-258-4406 (within the U.S.), or 301-528-2676 (outside the U.S.) for further assistance. This restriction does not apply to the freely available Teacher’s Package Review Copies.

Ordering a single copy for review

If you wish to review the materials for a particular role simulation to decide whether you’d like to use it, a PDF, or soft copy, version of the Teacher’s Package for the simulation is available as a free download from the description page of most role simulations and case studies. All Teacher’s Packages include copies of all participant materials. In addition, some Teacher’s Packages (but not all) include additional teaching materials such as teaching notes or overhead masters.

Ordering copies for multiple participants

To order multiple copies of a role simulation for use in a course or workshop, simply enter the total number of participants in the box next to “Quantity.” There is no need to calculate how many of each role is required.

If you are ordering hard copies, the Teaching Negotiation Resource Center will calculate the appropriate numbers of each role to provide, based on the total number of participants. For example, if you wish to order a 2-party role simulation for use with a class of 30 students, you would enter “30” in the box next to “Quantity.” You then would receive 15 copies of one role and 15 copies of the other role, for use with your 30 participants. As another example, if you ordered 30 participant copies of a 6-party role simulation, you would receive 5 copies of each role.

In the event that the number of participant copies you order is not evenly divisible by the number of roles in the simulation, you will receive extra copies of one or more roles. Participants receiving the extra roles may partner with other participants playing the same role, thus negotiating as a team. So, for instance, if you ordered 31 copies of a 2-party role simulation, you would receive 15 copies of the first role and 16 copies of the second role. One of the participants playing the second role would partner with another participant playing that same role, and the two would negotiate as a team.

Bulk Pricing Discount

For bulk orders, we offer the following pricing discounts. Please note that these only apply to bulk orders of the same simulation.

  • Between 100-250 copies – 10% discount
  • Between 251-500 copies – 25% discount
  • More than 500 copies – 50% discount
Log In or Register to download the free Teacher's Package Sample.

Ethical Dilemmas Surrounding Water Shutoffs in Older American Cities is a six party, multi-issue negotiation involving environmental, political, economic and social interest groups, in a shrinking American city, where the water infrastructure is in desperate need of repair. This role-play simulation illustrates the ethical, financial and logistical challenges involved in trying to balance the need to maintain economically viable water services with the need to ensure that even the most vulnerable urban populations have access to clean water. It is intended for use by students, residents, community advocates, and teachers to draw attention to the ethical dilemmas surrounding water provision in many cities in the United States.

Central City is an industrial city in decline on the East Coast of the United States. Although, for many decades, it was a thriving metropolis, the shrinking of the manufacturing sector over the past several decades has led to substantial decline. Indeed, the impact of deindustrialization has been staggering. The city has lost more than 75,000 manufacturing jobs over the past four decades. Wages have gone down noticeably since the late 1980s for almost every category of worker, but especially for those in the bottom half of all earners. Nearly 35% of the city’s population now lives below the poverty line. Central City’s water and sanitation infrastructure was built in the late 1880s. As the city grew, its infrastructure expanded accordingly. However, due to the economic downturn, the city has been unable to afford much-needed improvements in the aging water infrastructure for many years.

Five years ago, in an effort to curb its growing deficit, the Central City Water and Sewerage Department (CWSD) began disconnecting households that had fallen behind in their bill payments. When that didn’t reduce the deficit, the utility steadily increased its water rates. Its goal is to operate with a balanced budget each year.

Two weeks ago, The Central Tribune published a piece reporting that CWSD was about to send out notices of water shutoffs to another 16,000 households. Water shutoffs have become an extremely divisive issue in Central City. Last year’s number of shutoffs was the highest to date. This recent announcement sent another shock wave through the city. A week after the article was published, a coalition of faith-based groups and activists organized a rally outside City Hall to express their outrage. An estimated 3,000 people showed up. In response, the recently elected City Council issued a statement indicating that they would look into other ways of meeting everyone’s concerns.

A few days ago, the CWSD invited key stakeholders to a meeting to discuss water issues, especially the question of shutoffs. The agency is hoping that the key elements of a new plan will emerge from this meeting. The City Council has indicated that it is eager to hear the recommendations of this group.

Materials for this simulation include:

  • Teaching Notes
  • Confidential Instructions for the Central Water and Sewer Department Representative,
  • Confidential Instructions for the Rights Now! Representative,
  • Confidential Instructions for the Broadway Development Company Representative,
  • Confidential Instructions for the Interfaith Alliance Representative,
  • Confidential Instructions for the Greening Central Representative,
  • Confidential Instructions for the Mayor of Central City

Ethical Dilemmas Surrounding Water Shutoffs in Older American Cities Attributes

Time required: 3 hours
Numbers of participants: 6
Neutral third party present: None
Scoreable: No
Teaching Notes Available: Yes