Arizona Project WET (Water Education for Teachers) - Water Festivals

Research Year: 

Prolonged drought has reduced water resources in Arizona, making water sustainability a critical issue for all generations. Arizona Project WET (Water Education for Teachers) aims to deepen young students’ understanding of water as an essential resource that connects all earth systems, thus helping them to become better water stewards themselves and emissaries of wise water use in Arizona communities.

Description of Action: 

Arizona Water Festivals use structured Arizona Project WET lessons that meet 4th grade water education standards, covering the water cycle, value of water and conservation, watersheds, and the ground water system. Nine water festivals were held in 2010 in Nogales, Casa Grande, Apache Junction, Verde Valley, Payson, Tucson, Yuma, Flagstaff and Chandler, serving 5,130 students, 175 teachers and 177 parents. Arizona Water Festivals are a collaboration success story and the number of students served grows each year. Specialized volunteer training around the state reached 451 volunteers and an additional 79 student volunteers who learned valuable water content as well.


The Arizona Project WET Water Festival program has grown from reaching 300 students in 2000 to reaching several thousand in succeeding years: 6,289 in 2006; 4,121 in 2007; 5,103 in 2008; 4,877 in 2009; and 5,130 in 2010. The Arizona Department of Environmental Quality, Salt River Project and Central Arizona Project became strong proponents of the program in 2001 and remain so today. Since 2000, the Arizona Water Festival program has served 43,118 young Arizonans in 21 Arizona communities—youth who are caring for watersheds, conserving water and sharing this knowledge with their friends and families. A total of 1,647 teachers have worked with their students to enhance the learning experience of the Water Festival by carrying the learning goals into the classroom. This model creates a learning community where teachers and students alike are motivated to learn about water and to work together to protect Arizona’s water future. Hundreds of volunteers trained over the years to deliver effective water education have increased their own water literacy and are now more able to talk about water issues with friends and colleagues throughout the community. In 2010, volunteers provided 3,034 service hours delivering the festivals, a contribution valued at $63,259 (using Independent Sector value of $20.25). One hundred percent of all volunteers surveyed in 2010 said their time was well spent; 98 percent reported they would volunteer again.

Conact Name: 
Kerry Schwartz
Contact E-mail: