Water is one of the world’s most valuable resources. Spending an early August afternoon in Tucson, Arizona will certainly have you thinking so. Maybe not-so-coincidentally, that’s where we find Arizona Project WET (APW), a unique organization that promotes water stewardship through educational events and programs.

APW has grown to be Arizona’s leading water education program for students of all grade levels. By providing teachers with world-renowned lessons and STEM instruction, students get real-world experience that enables them to become responsible water managers.

Sara Krznarich of Arizona Project WET“Given that Arizona is one of the hottest and driest states and is projected to only get hotter in years to come, we want students to recognize the need to be knowledgeable about our interconnected water resources and how we manage them. We want students to know that they can make a difference in the world they live in.”

Sara Krznarich, Sr. Instructional Specialist

Arizona Project WET programs use water as a unifying theme to bring relevance and application to various subjects. For example, its Water Scene Investigations inspire participants to install water efficient technology and capitalize on the savings. It’s Aqua STEM Program supports teachers in implementing water-related content and student-directed learning. And that’s just to name a few.

Arizona Water Festival Program

Students show off their water molecule bracelets at an Arizona Water Festival.

Perhaps the APW’s most expansive and ambitious effort is the Arizona Water Festival Program. Activities and workshops are used to encourage students and community members to conserve and protect water sources. The program’s reach is impressive.

  • Over 109,700 students, 4,100 teachers and 5,500 volunteers have participated since 2000. 2017 delivered a record 22 festivals and the largest festival ever, reaching over 1,800 students.
  • In the 2016-17 school year, participating students increased their knowledge of watersheds by 31 percent, groundwater by 21 percent, the water cycle by 12 percent and water conservation technology by 23 percent, according to Krznarich.

Sara Krznarich of Arizona Project WET“Thanks to strong sponsorship and partnership with over 45 organizations, we are able to sustain these festivals from year to year. School districts’ commitment to the Arizona Water Festival Program as a part of the curriculum is a testament to the quality of and need for this program. ”

Sara Krznarich, Sr. Instructional Specialist

Learn More About Arizona Project WET

Arizona Project WET is a University of Arizona program, and part of the Arizona Cooperative Extension and the Water Resources Research Center. Both of these programs are part of the University’s College of Agriculture and Life Sciences. APW has a long withstanding relationship with the national Project WET Foundation, located in Bozeman, Montana. Keep up with Arizona Project WET through their website.

Check out our other campus sustainability features, as we recently covered Louisville’s BikeShare Program and Portland Community College’s Learning Garden. Feel free to leave a comment below if you are a part of a sustainability program that may be worth highlighting. We’d love to hear from you.