Topic: Water Education

Keyword: Arizona


Tracing The Ancient Origins Of Arizona Rivers

Excerpt: Arizona's rivers are chronicled in the geology of its land and the history of its peoples, from the Verde's Sinagua cliff dwellings to the Salt's Hohokam canals and the Mogollon Culture of the Gila headwaters. It is a saga we are still reading and, through our dams, diversions and the depredations of climate change, rewriting.

Water Shortages Top Arizona Issue

Excerpt: "This is the most important election of our lifetime," Bill Holland, the New Mexico policy director for the League of Conservation voters, told Popular Science, which put together an inventory of the top scientific, environmental and technological challenges by state.

Excerpt: In Arizona, water conservation has taken on renewed urgency after a prolonged drought. The state gets its water from two large reservoirs, Lake Mead and Lake Powell, that store water from the Colorado River.

"But a triple whammy of prolonged drought, this past winter's paltry Rocky Mountain snowpack (which feeds the river's lower basin), and years of overuse by cities, farms, and factories have left levels low enough to risk a water shortage—the first ever—within the next two years," Popular Science wrote.

Excerpt: Infrastructure, access to the internet and climate change — especially in coastal states threatened by rising sea levels — are issues in many states. And in the U.S. territory of Puerto Rico, residents are steeling themselves for the next storm as they struggle to recover from the the pummeling they took during the 2017 hurricane season. The local Climate Change Council says the island is unprepared for intensifying storms, droughts and what could be a 2-foot rise in the sea level.

Stabilizing Lake Mead Water Levels

Excerpt: As part of the $6 million partnership agreement with the Bureau of Reclamation, the State of Arizona, the City of Phoenix and the Walton Family Foundation, Inc., The Gila River Indian Community will forego delivery of 40,000 acre-feet of its 2017 Colorado River allocation.

Excerpt: "With this action we will continue to plan responsibly for the future of our city, through partnership and collaboration, said Councilwoman Kate Gallego. "Sustainable solutions to our water supply needs require collaboration. This agreement not only supports the overall health of the Colorado River; it also establishes a long-term partnership that helps conserve precious water resources in Lake Mead. I particularly want to recognize the visionary leadership of Governor Stephen Roe Lewis and the Gila River Indian Community as we move forward with this partnership. The Gila River Indian Community has been an excellent partner for the City of Phoenix in this process, and I look forward to both our communities working together in the future. As a desert city, Phoenix knows the value of water and its importance for our future, and I'm extremely proud to take part in this innovative water resource partnership."

Excerpt: The federal Bureau of Reclamation also contributed $1 million to this Lake Mead stabilization effort. On January 17 of this year, Reclamation provided $6 million to the Gila River Community for system conservation that resulted in the Community's first 40,000 acre-feet stored in Lake Mead.

Water Fest wets appetite for learning

Excerpt: More than 450 students were wowed by hands-on experiments that provided an interactive and fun exploration into groundwater systems, watersheds, water conservation and technology, and the water cycle.

Excerpt: "Being out here and having somebody other than your teacher sharing information and knowledge is an entire different learning experience,” Justice said. “Getting to be out in the Lake Havasu watershed is a pretty cool thing for them.”

Excerpt: “It’s about the experience to be able to do hands on activities, things that we can’t do in the classroom,” Sepulveda said. “We can show them models or read a book, but at the festival they are getting much more of an enriched experience.”

Quagga mire: Invading mussels

Excerpt: A tiny European shellfish whose larvae are swarming the Colorado River and connected water bodies has colonized reservoirs and canals in the hills around the Phoenix area.

Excerpt: Quagga mussels were first introduced in this country by an accidental release from a tanker’s ballast water into the Great Lakes back in the 1980s. They have expanded rapidly through the Southwest since their discovery at Lake Mead nine years ago.

Excerpt: Across the Southwest, the invaders are changing business for water providers. In Las Vegas, the Southern Nevada Water Authority had to add pipes to mix ammonia and chlorine at its new, billion-dollar deepwater intake in Lake Mead, killing veligers before they enter the system.

The annual cost for chemicals is about $50,000, a spokesman said.

Water Conservation Message To Fourth-Graders

Excerpt: Fourth-grade Lake Havasu City students were treated to a conservation-focused fun and educational event at Rotary Community Park Wednesday.

Excerpt: “The goal today is to teach fourth-grade students about the natural earth science aspects of water as well as the human components to give them the building block to be good water stewards,” Sederstrom said.

Arizona water resources staff depleted

Excerpt: Arizona’s government water experts remain a depleted resource seven years after severe budget tightening. Like the state’s essential water bank at Lake Mead, the Arizona Department of Water Resources’ staff has dropped to half its former level with no clear forecast for a rebound.

The loss of bodies and expertise has come at an inopportune time, observers say, because Arizona has a daunting set of water challenges.

Excerpt: Former U.S. Sen. Jon Kyl advocates a replenished department budget and staff, partly because of the need to finish sorting out water rights and to do it in state court instead of on federal turf.

Excerpt: Securing water for future needs is the state’s top economic-development tool, Kyl said. So far the state, which banked extra river water underground during times of plenty, has been able to reassure relocating companies.

Arizona faces challenges, but it's no California

Excerpt: Arizona’s water future is in the hands of today’s leaders and informed voters, just as it was when the state envisioned the big dams and canals now supplying the state, experts said at a water-outlook conference on Tuesday.

Excerpt: Unlike crisis-stricken California, Arizona cities have years of supply stored in underground aquifers ready to fill in for a number of years if a shortage of Colorado River water occurs.

Excerpt: Solving water scarcity without further depleting natural springs and the people and ecosystems relying on them is as essential as life itself, said Vincent Randall, a former chairman of the Yavapai-Apache Nation.

Cloud seeding viable option to ward off drought

Excerpt: “There are so many different ways you can augment the river,” said Tom Ryan, a resource specialist with the Metropolitan Water District of Southern California who serves on the board of the North American Weather Modification Council and the Weather Modification Association.

Excerpt: Discovered in 1946 by Vincent Schaefer, cloud seeding is the attempt to enhance the amount of precipitation a cloud would naturally produce on its own. Particles are released into targeted clouds to provide a nuclei, the ‘seed’, for moisture to condense around. The most common particles used are silver iodide, dry ice and more recently salt.

Excerpt: Proper conditions also have to be met by prospective clouds, which includes the proper temperature, height and path of the cloud.

And even in the case of a successful seeding, science can’t truly control the weather.

“A potential downside to [cloud seeding] is creating snow for someone who doesn’t want it,” Selover said. “You don’t know where the clouds are going to go.”

Water war between California and Arizona

Excerpt: In November, the construction of a trestle bridge from the California side prompted action. On Nov. 10, Moeur declared martial law. He dispatched more than 100 National Guard troops to block construction on Arizona's shore.

Excerpt: "Without a dissenting voice, the United States Supreme Court yesterday forced an indefinite suspension of work on Parker Dam by upholding Arizona's right to object and interfere with construction....

"Arizona officials, a dispatch from Phoenix said, hailed the decision as a victory in their battle over the Colorado River, which has been waged for twelve years.

NSF award will expand scope

Excerpt: In the grips of long-term drought, the Colorado River Basin and the cities that rely on its water face unprecedented challenges and significant uncertainty with a warming climate and large-scale land-use change. They are developing new water-resource policies for a future of increasing uncertainty.

Excerpt: “It is an unprecedented time to conduct this type of use-inspired research for the Colorado River Basin region,” said Dave White, director of Decision Center for a Desert City and Global Security Initiative fellow. “It comes with a greater sense of urgency and a greater sense of understanding of the scale and scope of the changes that are likely necessary to transition the cities and the region into a more sustainable state over the next several decades.”

Excerpt: Through the expanded use of DCDC and WaterSim, researchers will build a suite of robust alternatives for the cities that rely on Colorado River water to strengthen their positions and not be as vulnerable to unforeseen change.

“We want to get not only ahead of this current drought and crisis but to use this energy and opportunity to think about the next 30 years, or the next 100 years,” White said.

Arizona's new water rush raising tensions

Excerpt: Farmers from California and Arizona are pushing to drill wells and pump unregulated water in Cochise County, triggering intense rivalries and calls for a crackdown.

Excerpt: The state doesn’t regulate water use in mostly rural Cochise County, so landowners today can pump with no limits. That’s in sharp contrast to Pima and Maricopa counties, which have had broad pumping controls since passage of the Arizona Groundwater Management Act in 1980. The limits on new irrigation sought for the San Simon area is already in effect in the urban counties.

Excerpt: As acreage has doubled, so has the rate of decline in the water table, state figures show, and it’s likely to accelerate if more farmers start drilling. That’s why the limits on new farming are needed, the petitioners say.

What water woes? Payson planned ahead

Excerpt: A 15-year drought threatens to throw large swaths of the Southwest into a water shortage. California cities are now under mandated water cutbacks. Arizona may see some of its farming curtailed and some rural-area residents worry about shrinking groundwater supplies.

Excerpt: The small town could have been much larger today without some of the restrictions in the early 2000s, Swartwood said.

He said limiting subdivision size created a highly expensive housing market. Construction workers left town. Lumber businesses shuttered their doors.

Excerpt: But Walker said pumping more water out of the ground at the time would have been unsustainable — growth had to be cut back.

"You'll never hear that in Arizona," Walker said.

Continual planning needed to manage water supply

Excerpt: Arizonans should never take water for granted, as the new water restrictions in California show what can happen without proper planning for future water supplies, U.S. Sen. Jeff Flake said Tuesday.

Excerpt: “People assume that you turn on the tap, water comes out and everything’s fine,” said Flake, who convened a community water policy forum in Phoenix. “It’s not that easy. It takes a lot of planning and continual planning and new planning for these droughts that come along.”

Excerpt: “Water is the basis or the foundation on which you develop an economy,” Hallin said. “Without a reliable water supply here in the Valley, you really have no economy. That’s foundational, and that’s why you see so many metro areas and where they grew up.”

Excerpt: “There’s a lot of good people doing a lot of good for water resources in the state of Arizona, but it’s still an uphill climb,” he said. “We’re going to need a lot of participation and a lot of people coming together to really figure out some of the challenges we have.”

Parched: Arizona's shrinking aquifers

Excerpt: Arizona relies on groundwater for 40 percent of its water supply -- and that's a figure that took decades of political and economic wrangling to achieve. Facing major groundwater overdrafts in the 1970s, leaders launched the Central Arizona Project to bring Colorado River water to major metropolitan areas and enacted laws limiting pumping and banning irrigation expansion in critical areas.

Excerpt: But expect the focus on groundwater health to intensify. If the Colorado River is declared in a shortage, farmers around Phoenix expect to begin drilling again or, if they already are, increase their groundwater intake, Corkhill said.

Arizona per capita water use declining

Excerpt: The good news, as Kathleen Ferris of the Arizona Municipal Water Users Association points out, is that demand in major cities has actually dropped amid conservation efforts. Per capita water usage has leveled or decreased in many Valley cities over the past five years, according to data from the Arizona Department of Water Resources.

Excerpt: "People have lost the love affair with turf," Woodard said. "A lot of people would rather have an attractive, drought-tolerant landscape than get up Saturday morning and fire up the lawn mower."

Excerpt: If demand for water further declines, some water providers may find that their pipes are over-sized for the lower volume, which may take the water longer to reach its targeted source. If that happens, disinfectants used at the water treatment plant may wear down, requiring more to be added somewhere down the pipeline, Woodard said.

As the River Runs Dry: The Southwest's water crisis

Excerpt: A 2012 government study of supply and demand predicted a 2060 annual shortfall of nearly a trillion gallons — enough to cover the sprawling city of Phoenix 9 feet deep or to supply 6 million Southwestern households for a year.

Excerpt: Welcome to the future, where every drop of Colorado River water is guarded and squeezed. Only here, in the city that gets 90 percent of its water from the fickle and fading river, the future is now.

Excerpt: The biggest sponge out there, though, is agriculture. Its use of two-thirds of the Colorado's bounty offers future urban residents a tantalizing buffer for growth — or a water grab — if it can be reallocated.

About a third of the Colorado River's annual flow goes just to alfalfa, pasture and other forage for livestock, according to a 2013 analysis of farming in the 256,000-square-mile watershed, conducted by the Pacific Institute.

Climate change will increase evaporation of Colorado River

Excerpt: The Colorado River faces a dual threat from climate change as rising temperatures increase the demand for irrigation water and accelerate evaporation at the river’s two largest reservoirs.

Excerpt: The upper half of the basin, above Glen Canyon Dam in Arizona, is expected to see demand for agricultural water jump by almost 23 percent, while Lake Powell loses 7 percent more water to evaporation than it did during the last half of the 20th century.

Excerpt: According to the report, rising temperatures will drive up agricultural demand on the Truckee and the Carson by more than 14 percent over the next 65 years, while evaporation will increase by 14 percent at Lake Tahoe and by 7 percent at Lahontan Reservoir.

Glen Canyon release will send Colorado River surging

Excerpt: The experiment involves a four-day release of a large pulse of water -- about 130,000 acre feet -- from Lake Powell meant to raise water levels in the Colorado River and sweep sediment from its tributaries into the main stem. That sediment helps build up sandbars, which are important for wildlife and recreators alike, as well as maintain other ecosystems like that of the nonnative rainbow trout just downstream of the dam.

Excerpt: High-flow experimental releases became a longer-term part of the Bureau of Reclamation’s Glen Canyon Dam management protocol in 2012. Since then, Glen Canyon Dam has released between 42,300 cubic feet per second and 37,500 cubic feet per second over four days each November. This will be the third release under the protocol.

Burning lemon trees in Yuma could mean water for Valley

Excerpt: Smoke rising from groves of lemon trees offers one dramatic visual clue to Arizona's increasingly complex water future: Groves here are going fallow, for a price, to test how much moisture farmers could spare for urban development.

Excerpt: But if the state continues to grow while, as government scientists predict, climate change continues to shrink the Colorado River, something has to give. Some of this region's farms are likely to prime the pump for profit.

Excerpt: The groundwater district is coming for a new dip into the river at exactly the time that other users fear the competition. Cities, including Phoenix, Mesa and Tempe, in the Arizona Municipal Water Users Association use CAP water directly instead of as an aquifer recharge.

"There's a lot of competition. There are shortages on the river that we're trying to deal with," association Executive Director Kathleen Ferris said.

"There is continuing concern within (the municipal suppliers) that this paradigm of allowing growth to proceed before water is in hand is not sustainable."

Arizona readying long-term plan on water

Excerpt: Arizona has a long history of meeting the challenges of developing water supplies necessary to live and thrive in this arid land.

Ingenuity, innovation and investment, coupled with widespread, dedicated support from a coalition of water users, elected officials, community, tribal, and business leaders, have provided the resilient, sustainable water portfolio we enjoy the benefit of today.

Excerpt: These systems are under stress. Yields from both the Colorado and our in-state rivers are reduced. We anticipate reductions in allocations to the Central Arizona Project, most likely starting in 2016.

Excerpt: ADWR is continuing collaborative work with interested parties as we chart our future, including joining with the Morrison Institute for Public Policy this fall in a facilitated discussion on strategies and priorities. Resolute and focused leadership will be required to ensure that future generations of Arizonans enjoy economic security supported by resilient, affordable water supplies.

Study Urges Reuse and Conservation

Excerpt: Water conservation and reuse are being urged in a study that makes recommendations about addressing the Colorado River drought, which threatens the future well-being of Arizona and six other Western states.

Excerpt: He says everyone can all help out by trying to use less water in daily life. "People in Arizona can help save water by installing more efficient faucets, toilets, and switching to a desert landscape which requires far less water,” he points out. “We can all do our part and help ensure that we have enough water for the future." Rice adds the last decade of severe drought has left Colorado River levels at the two main storage reservoirs, Lake Mead in Nevada and Lake Powell in Utah, at historically low levels.

Arizona Enlists a Beetle in Its Campaign for Water

Excerpt: Farmers, ranchers and the water authorities here are eager to get rid of the tamarisk trees, which are not native to Arizona and which they say suck too much water.

Excerpt: “We view the tamarisk as a pest,” said Joseph Sigg, the government relations director at the Arizona Farm Bureau. “Water is an expensive input, and to the extent that we can lower it, the beetle can help.”

Excerpt: “You cut out tamarisk, plant native species and build a canopy so the tamarisk don’t come back,” said Robert F. Upham, an engineer with the City of Phoenix who has worked on the project. “The idea was to have nature take care of nature.”

Drying up

Excerpt: Water is expensive and is becoming increasingly scarce.

And as growing communities put more stress on the water resources of the American Southwest, costs here are only going up.

Excerpt: Geologist and Water Resources Coordinator Doyle Wilson has a goal to make Lake Havasu City as self-sufficient as possible, and two grant applications have been submitted that could bring the city money to take a meaningful step in that direction.

“We need to lay a good foundation to delay negative impacts to the citizenry,” Wilson said. “We need to avoid high-priced water.”

Excerpt: “It’s not a system that will hold the water forever,” Wilson said. “The idea behind the whole thing is to inject during the winter time and pull it back out during the summer. We won’t lose as much water if we pull it out seasonally.”

April is Arizona Water Awareness Month

Excerpt: Ideas, tips, resources and events to help you conserve water and get more info about Arizona's most precious resource, WATER!

Finding and Fixing Hidden Leaks

Excerpt: You know you have a leak when your faucet drips, but do you know how to find a hidden leak? Finding and fixing leaks can save as much as 11,000 gallons of wasted water per year and more than 10 percent on water bills.

Excerpt: If you suspect you have a phantom water waster in your home, follow these tips to find the culprit. But first, make sure no water is being used inside or outside of your home.

Excerpt: If you are not able to find the leak, you may want to consider contacting a professional plumber to locate and fix the leak. If you find a simple leak like your toilet flapper or kitchen faucet, you may want to fix the problem yourself.


WaterSense, a partnership program by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, seeks to protect the future of our nation's water supply by offering people a simple way to use less water with water-efficient products, new homes, and services.
Water Use It Wisely
The Water - Use It Wisely campaign was launched in 1999 to promote an ongoing water conservation ethic among Arizona's rapidly growing population.
Water of the United States
As we face record consumption, uncertain supplies, and growing demands for protection against flooding and contamination, continued study and thoughtful management of this critical resource is essential for maintaining the welfare of our "Blue Planet".
Water Education for Teachers
Arizona Project WET (APW) has grown to be Arizona’s leading water education program for teachers and students at all grade levels. APW receives grant funds from federal, state, city, and public and private companies to deliver research-based, quality professional development workshops for teachers. This funding makes educational curricula and resources that meet the Arizona State Academic Standards available to teachers at no cost to them.
My Water Pledge
My Water Pledge is a friendly competition between cities across the US to see who can be the most “water-wise.” Mayors nationwide will challenge their residents to conserve water energy and other natural resources on behalf of their city through a series of informative, easy-to-use pledges online.
Mohave County Local Drought Impact Group
The LDIG’s tasks are to monitor the current level and impacts of the ongoing drought in Mohave County to provide information to local jurisdictions and the Arizona Department of Water Resources (ADWR); establish a public outreach program on drought impacts and preparedness; and identify and recommend mitigation measures for implementation by jurisdictions, businesses, and individual families during various levels of drought.
Managing Water in the West
Established in 1902, the Bureau of Reclamation is best known for the dams, powerplants, and canals it constructed in the 17 western states. These water projects led to homesteading and promoted the economic development of the West. Reclamation has constructed more than 600 dams and reservoirs including Hoover Dam on the Colorado River and Grand Coulee on the Columbia River.
Central Arizona Project
In 1946, the Central Arizona Project Association was formed to educate Arizonans about the need for CAP and to lobby Congress to authorize its construction. It took the next 22 years to do so, and in 1968, President Lyndon B. Johnson signed a bill approving construction of CAP. The bill provided for the Bureau of Reclamation of the Department of the Interior to fund and construct CAP and for another entity to repay the federal government for certain costs of construction when the system was complete.
Arizona NEMO Main Page
The goal of NEMO is to educate land use decision makers to make choices and take actions that will lessen nonpoint source pollution and protect natural resources. This will be accomplished by non-regulatory, research-based education using geospatial information and other advanced technologies for outreach, education, analysis and research.
Arizona Department of Water Resources
In 1980, the Arizona Department of Water Resources (ADWR) was created to secure long-term dependable water supplies for Arizona's communities.