Protecting sensitive ecosystems, sustainable water supplies, and the health of our precious water resources

Conservation, Management and Research Organizations

Black Canyon Heritage Park

Centered on a riparian area, this park promotes interaction with the local environment, instills appreciation for local plant and animal life, and cultivates interest in the natural and cultural history of the area.

Citizens Water Advocacy Group

This group promotes a sustainable water supply in the Prescott area through citizen advocacy, education, and monitoring of municipal and state water policies and actions. It maintains a speakers bureau and an archive of water-related documents.

Coconino Plateau Water Advisory Council and Watershed Partnership

The Partnership is a coalition of communities, federal and state agencies, and non-profit organizations. It advocates for sound water resource management and conservation in an area where water supply is affected by regional environmental and population pressures.

Friends of the Agua Fria National Monument

Water advocacy is part of this organization’s mission. Monitoring and mapping the incidence of surface water along the Agua Fria River and restoring its riparian environment are among its conservation activities. 

Friends of the San Pedro River

FSPR is a non-profit, volunteer group dedicated to restoring and protecting the San Pedro River. The Friends raise awareness with school programs, interactive hikes, and historic and archaeological interpretation of significant sites related to the river.

Friends of the Santa Cruz River

The Friends is a non-profit, all-volunteer organization that has worked to protect the health of the river and its ecosystem since 1991. The organization conducts workshops, sponsors research, and distributes hiking guides to engage the community in care for the Santa Cruz River.

Friends of the Tonto National Forest

This volunteer organization works with the Bureau of Land Management and U.S. Forest Service to protect and promote the Agua Fria National Monument and Tonto National Forest. Volunteers for the Friends help restore habitat along the Salt River by monitoring and removing invasive plant species.

Friends of the Verde River

The Friends help ensure the health and beauty of this Wild and Scenic River by connecting it to the communities that surround it. The organization maintains networks of planners, water managers and citizen advocates, and encourages residents and visitors to invest in the river through educational and community events.

Gila Watershed Partnership of Arizona

Active in Graham and Greenlee Counties since 1992, the Partnership brings together communities, federal and state agencies, businesses and non-profit organizations that care about the health of the Gila River and the surrounding environment. It emphasizes uniting people from a variety of areas and backgrounds in a common cause through riparian restoration projects, water quality initiatives, and educational programs.

Glen Canyon Institute

The goal of the Institute is to restore the Colorado River and Glen Canyon to something resembling their pre-dam state. The organization emphasizes water conservation as a way to mitigate the perceived need for water storage.

Grand Canyon River Guides

GCRG is concerned with the health of the Colorado ecosystem. A particular focus is the effects of the Glen Canyon Dam. The organization maintains an Oral History list with links to online archive locations when available.

Grand Canyon Trust

The Trust engages stakeholders from diverse communities to work for conservation, restoration, and sustainable human relationships with the environment.

Citizen science is a core element of Grand Canyon Trust’s mission. Learn about Springs Stewardship and other environmental monitoring projects at

Keep Sedona Beautiful

“Environmental stewards since 1972,” this organization aims to preserve the scenic beauty and environmental viability of the greater Sedona area. KSB is active in water conservation, environmental sustainability, dark skies and noise abatement efforts.  Hosts a monthly speaker series and may be a good resource for building the Water/Ways project speakers bureau.

Oak Creek Watershed Council

Dedicated to “maintaining the legacy” of the watershed area. The core group of volunteers comprises the Friends of Oak Creek, who provide public education and work to monitor and maintain the health of the creek. The website includes a “Creek Resources” tab with an elementary school water curriculum and other education and activity tools for all ages.

Tribal Water Uses in the Colorado River Basin

This is a project of the Getches-Wilkinson Center for Natural Resources, Energy, and the Environment at the University of Colorado Law School. The project tracks water use, impediments to water use, current tribal legal protections for waterways, and litigation of water issues on tribal land throughout the Colorado Basin.

Upper San Pedro Partnership

Consisting of 21 agencies and organizations working together to monitor and manage water, the Upper San Pedro Partnership ensures that the water needs of the San Pedro Riparian National Conservation Area and of area residents are met now and in the future.

Verde River Institute

This group sees the Verde River as a connecting point for the various communities in the Verde Valley, enabling “sustainable, healthy and diverse economies and ecosystems.” The Institute offers educational outreach via kayak trips to policy makers, teachers, business owners, and the general public. The website features an archive of studies, documents, policies and general information about the Verde and its watershed.

Verde Watershed Restoration Coalition

The Coalition focuses on preserving the Verde Valley riparian ecosystem, with emphasis on controlling invasive plant species. A link to resources on its website offers watershed information for teachers and residents.

Watershed Management Group

Based in Tucson but active in the entire Sonoran Desert region, this organization implements its environmental mission by focusing on community-based water conservation and education programs. WMG leads classes on water harvesting systems and food-producing urban landscaping, offers tours of its Living Lab, and sponsors water awareness events throughout Arizona.

Flow365: Citizen Science Monitoring Team volunteers are trained by Watershed Management Group’s River Run Network to monitor groundwater levels and creek flows in the region surrounding Tucson.

Arizona Department of Environmental Quality, Water Quality Division

The ADEQ WQD monitors and assesses water quality in lakes and streams. This ensures that the state complies with the requirements of the Clean Water Act and that water in Arizona is safe to drink, play in and grow food with.

People of all ages can join the Arizona Water Watch citizen science project to monitor and protect Arizona’s irreplaceable waterways! Download the Arizona Water Watch Mobile App at

Arizona Department of Water Resources

A compendium of Arizona water issues and news, this agency’s website offers detailed information on water management, water conservation and safety programs, significant resources, water infrastructure, public records and water-related legislation.

Arizona Forward

Arizona Forward brings civic and business leaders together in a mission to increase environmental sustainability while growing the state’s economy.

Arizona Heritage Waters

Supported by Northern Arizona University, Arizona Heritage Waters highlights the scientific, socio-cultural, and historical importance of water in all of Arizona’s diverse ecosystems. The project is designed to bring the state’s most important waterways to the attention of residents and water managers.

Arizona Water Science Center, USGS

The site has extensive information about Arizona rivers and streams, water quality, groundwater, drought, and other water topics. It links to a list of USGS videos on water topics and events.

Audubon Arizona—Western Rivers Action Network (WRAN)

Western Rivers are among the most endangered in the United States. WRAN empowers volunteers to fight for rivers and riparian environments, ensuring a healthy future for the birds and people dependent on them.

Natural Resource Conservation Districts (NRCD)

Arizona NRCD Map:

Organized under Arizona and Tribal law, the NRCD program was enacted in response to the environmental and economic effects of the 1930s Dust Bowl phenomenon. Each district works with other organizations, water stakeholders and residents for habitat and resource conservation, watershed health, and the maintenance of water rights.

Sierra Club Grand Canyon (Arizona) Chapter

The Club’s mission in Arizona is to protect the state’s waters and wild lands by engaging people in monitoring and advocacy activities and pushing for protective legislation.

Arizona Water Sentinels are volunteers who collect water quality and base flow data from rivers throughout Arizona, which is then shared with state agencies and used to satisfy the requirements of the Clean Water Act.

Water Resources Research Center (WRRC)

Affiliated with University of Arizona, WRRC was implemented under the 1964 Federal Water Resources Research Act. The center conducts water policy research and analysis, transforming it into outreach and engagement programs for water managers, scholars, legislators, everyday water users, and students of all ages.

Alliance for Water Efficiency

Home water use calculator:

Dedicated to sustainable water use, this non-profit stakeholder organization sponsors programs for water users and water managers, and works to make conservation-friendly water fixtures, appliances and household systems the industry and planning standard.

River Network

This organization works to ensure a future defined by clean and ample water for all communities. River Network recommends policy changes, provides science support, and fosters learning and connection to create an inclusive and knowledgeable network of river advocates.

The Nature Conservancy

The organization at work in Arizona:

Since 1951 The Nature Conservancy has been working to protect lands and waters, and the people who cannot survive without them, around the world.

Springs Stewardship Institute

Affiliated with the Museum of Northern Arizona, the Institute advocates for sustainable management of springs systems around the globe. It offers instruction to policymakers, educators and the public via webinars, workshops and, in Arizona, Colorado River trips.

Springs Stewardship Workshops cover a variety of conservation concepts and most offer correlating fieldwork opportunities. The data collected by participants is added to the Institute’s accessible database.

Teaching children and adults about water systems, water infrastructure, and wise water use

Water Awareness and Education

City of Glendale—Water Conservation Resources and Programs for Educators and Youth

The city makes available classroom programs on water and conserving it for all schools in its water service area. Some are multi-unit lessons. In others, a city water specialist leads hands-on activities. Still others are tools that can be integrated into lessons.

City of Gilbert—Water Education for Schools

The city’s Water Conservation Department specialists will lead classroom activities for local fourth and sixth grades. Teachers can reserve a specific day, and the staffer will come to the school and conduct the classroom activity with the teacher. The fourth-grade activity shows the effect of a leaky faucet on water loss. The sixth-grade unit applies technology to saving water. That program aligns with sixth grade state science and math standards.

City of Phoenix—Surface Water Dam It Up!

This classroom activity module guides teachers to teach about watersheds, surface water, and how much water a dam and reservoir can hold. Students build their own dam and conduct experiments to measure which student built dam and reservoir holds the most water.

City of Scottsdale—Educational Tools

The city leads interactive water presentations at local schools. Topics include thunderstorms, desert plants and water, building dams, water quality, and water structure. Each presentation is aligned to state academic standards. The city also offers printed materials.

City of Tempe—Education

The city leads interactive presentations on water conservation and science to students in grades K-5. The presentations are aligned to state standards, and include printed materials teachers can integrate into their follow-on teaching after the presentation. Teachers schedule one of these programs by calling the city water department.

City of Tucson—Teacher and Youth Education

Tucson’s Water Department staffers will teach all grade levels on water conservation, supply, and quality. Teachers schedule one of these programs by calling the department.

MAP: Making Action Possible for Southern Arizona

This detailed atlas of metropolitan Tucson includes a comparison tool and interactive map for "Residential Water Use" in Arizona and the southwestern U.S.

Maricopa County—Education

The county offers a free educational program, its Storm Water Quality Outreach program. It expands understanding of the problem of stormwater runoff. Presentations and hands-on workshops for grades K-8 are available.

PAG: Pima Association of Governments

This planning group covers southern Arizona. It offers fun, downloadable outreach and educational materials about clean water.

Watershed Management Group--The Learning Center

A variety of water-focused resources include labs and library materials, professional training for teachers, and classes for individuals and schools.

Arizona Department of Water Resources—Water Conservation and Outreach

The state government lists educational resources for students, teachers, and the general public. The student page offers links to educational games, information, and activities focused on water for parents or classroom teachers. The educator page contains information and links to resources and workshops on teaching about water.

Arizona Department of Water Resources—Water Education for Adults

Offers links to informational documents, classes and workshops, webinars, and programs on understanding and conserving Arizona water.

Arizona Forward—Environmental Education Directory

This non-profit maintains a curated directory of curricula and other tools from Arizona organizations.

Decision Center for a Desert City--Advanced Water Education Workshops

ASU’s Decision Center for a Desert City offers summer educational workshops for Arizona teachers on water issues. Topics include sustainability, extreme weather events, and technology.

University of Arizona College of Agriculture and Life Sciences (CALS) Cooperative Extension

The CALS Cooperative Extension brings research-based knowledge from the University of Arizona to communities across the state through outreach and informal education programs. Topics include water harvesting, sustainable landscape irrigation, master gardening, food preservation, and native plant knowledge.

Water Use It Wisely

Showing individuals, businesses and municipalities how to save water since 1999, Water Use It Wisely details hundreds of simple, user-friendly water conservation strategies. It also offers workshops, games and tips for kids, educator resources and curricula, and product recommendations.

Grace Communications Foundation—Water Footprint Calculator

The average person in the United States uses about 2,000 gallons of water every day. This may be surprising, but drinking, bathing and going to the bathroom do not account for all of it--people also use water when they buy products, eat food and consume energy produced with water. Learn what your water footprint can teach you about saving this precious resource at

U.S. Department of Agriculture—National Agricultural Library Educational Materials

This curated site on the environment for teachers, students, and adults includes articles from the USDA, other federal government agencies, state agencies, and non-profit organizations. The collection is broadly aimed at environmental education but contains many resources on water and water issues like quality, irrigation, climate change’s effect on water, and more.

U.S. Geological Survey—Water Resources of the United States

This comprehensive site, maintained and housed by the USGS, defines and teaches water concepts, provides data on water and water usage, and offers multimedia such as videos and animations. The site covers the basics of hydrology through detailed information on rivers, streams, and groundwater in the United States.

Sustainability of Semi-Arid Hydrology and Riparian Areas (SAHRA)

This Arizona-based research and educational organization works to increase the hydrologic knowledge base of water professionals, elected officials, and scientists, and to increase water literacy in the education system and the general public. It offers programs and research resources for all grade levels.

Educating the next generation of Arizona water users

Water Curriculum

Local & Regional
City of Flagstaff—Educational Resources

The city’s website lists curriculum and educational materials useful for teaching water science and water conservation. The page also lists links to professional development programs for teachers interested in teaching water and water conservation.

City of Glendale—Educational Resources on Water Conservation for Youth

The city collects links and curriculum resources for teachers working with students (K-12) on water conservation.

Oak Creek Canyon Watershed—Watershed Education Curriculum

The Oak Creek Canyon Watershed Council publishes a curriculum for seventh and eighth grade students that is aligned with the Arizona State Science Standards. It teaches water science, water quality, and water issues, and concludes with a project on conservation. The curriculum includes a field trip to Slide Rock State Park and is appropriate for schools with proximity to the canyon.

Arizona Project WET

Arizona’s Project WET (Water Education for Teachers), developed in conjunction with University of Arizona, focuses on fostering water conservation and water science literacy. Teachers can hone their water skills and knowledge with project-sponsored Teacher Academy workshops. Arizona Project WET also provides curriculum, materials, and presenters for classrooms and runs events for the community. The curriculum is used by a large number of schools and agencies to deliver or enhance water education and understanding of water issues throughout the state. Arizona Project Wet is associated with the Project Wet Foundation.

Arizona Trout in the Classroom

This science-based curriculum on water conservation and wildlife management features hands-on activities. The focus is on recurring exposure to the trout species of fish, their life cycle, and their effects on the ecosystem.  The curriculum’s goal is to encourage a lifelong appreciation for natural resources, especially water.

Arizona Water Story

This single-unit curriculum developed by Salt River Project trains fourth grade teachers in water through social studies and science concepts. The materials include a lesson plan, videos, PowerPoints, and classroom resources. 

Audubon Arizona—River Pathways Program 

The Arizona chapter of the National Audubon Society offers a curriculum on rivers. It gets students outdoors and working in Arizona’s native habitats. The curriculum offers five classroom modules focused on riparian ecology and resource management.

Central Arizona Project—Education

The Central Arizona Project has developed a set of curricula for teaching students about water. CAP offers three distinct curricula aimed at different grade levels. H2O for Kids is for grades K-3. Arizona Water Story is for grades 4-6. H2O4U is for grades 6-12. The curricula are all focused on water, water quality, and conservation.

Northern Arizona University—Water Education

The NAU Environmental Education Outreach Program uses curricula available from other agencies to train teachers how to lead water lessons at Native American schools. Their focus is hands-on inquiry.

Environmental Protection Agency—Wetlands Education Curriculum

The EPA offers a curated set of curricula, activities, teaching tools, and videos about wetlands.

Green Education Foundation

Classroom materials range from supplemental materials to full curriculum for a variety of grade levels.

Project WET

This comprehensive water education curriculum for teachers is one of the most widely adopted water education curricula in the United States. The non-profit offers the curriculum and other educational resources directly to teachers. They have also partnered with organizations to offer tailored versions of their curriculum for local communities. The organization also maintains a number of online educational resources including the interactive water education site Discover Water.

U.S. Department of Agriculture—Southwest Climate Hub - Climate Change and the Water Cycle Curriculum

The USDA’s nine-unit rigorous science curriculum for grade 6-12 students focuses on how climate change affects the water cycle in the desert Southwest. Aligned to Common-Core and Next Generation Science education standards, the curriculum is available free to teachers. It comprises ten hours of instruction that can be delivered sequentially over ten days or as individual units within a larger science curriculum.

University of Miami—One Water

The University of Miami “One Water” project offers a comprehensive multi-unit classroom curriculum about water science and conservation suitable for use in classrooms throughout the United States.  The curriculum covers topics such as hydrology, climate change, pollution, water and culture, water and health, and issues in water use and management.

The Water Project—Teaching Tools and Resources

Certified teachers created supplemental materials and lessons plans, books, pamphlets, and lab guides for teachers.

The Globe Program—A Worldwide Science and Education Program

This comprehensive global ecology program helps teachers and students explore Earth’s ecology as a system. The program was created and is maintained by NASA, and is available to educators worldwide. The program includes teacher training and certification in delivering the curriculum as well as the curriculum itself.