Water Resources Education Assessment - Executive Summary
Water resource education conducted through the University of Arizona
Cooperative Extension is currently provided by six water resource education
specialists as well as a whole host of other individuals who teach water
resource education indirectly as a part of their programs. In July, each
of the six educators was asked to report on their water resource activities,
as well as the water related activities of the counties closest to them.
This report is the resulting assessment of the water resource education
programs being conducted by or in conjunction with Cooperative Extension
in Arizona. Water quantity and/or quality issues affect every county and
every person in Arizona. The education programs outlined in this report
cover water resources in a broad sense, ranging from water quality to
water supplies, from irrigation to conservation and beyond.
The Cooperative Extension County Offices provide education outreach in
proximity to the people that they serve. This allows them to experience
and understand the issues of importance first hand. The reader will find
unique programs, which have been developed to address specific county
needs, outlined in this report.
In Yavapai County, Cooperative Extension has developed a water testing
and education program, which has identified six areas within the county
experiencing increasing nitrate trends. In a County experiencing rapid
growth and increasing water supply demands, this program has opened up
conversations between private well owners and local governmental agencies.
Innovative teaching tools facilitate an understanding of new concepts
for adults and youth. In primarily rural Mohave County, a septic tank
model has been engineered to teach septic tank owners about proper design,
operation, and maintenance. In addition, a Bureau of Reclamation grant
allowed for the production of simplified groundwater flow models to be
given to classroom teachers participating in water education workshops.
In Cochise County, a dual approach to water conservation has been taken
with the Water Wise Program. For the community, the audit/outreach program
has shown that direct one?on?one contact is what produces water conservation
behavior. Within the schools, the Water Wise program, in its first year
of operation, has students focusing on water conservation in twelve of
the thirteen targeted district and county schools.
Cooperative Extension has created an Adopt?A?Watershed program, which
uses a local watershed as the living laboratory for making science directly
applicable and relevant to student's lives in twelve school districts
in Navajo County. A Master Watershed Stewardship Program is being developed
in Yavapai County to provide a local/regional, volunteer, citizen-component
to assist Cooperative Extension in providing accurate insight, distributing
information, and increasing local public involvement on watershed issues.
By working in conjunction with the Cooperative Extension, Water Education
workshops for teachers and educators have been offered this year in more
counties than ever before. The Cooperative Extension County Network is
an invaluable resource for education outreach programs that seek to target
the whole state.
In recent years a number of watershed groups have been formed in rural
portions of Arizona as a result of the need to address specific water-related
issues. These watershed groups, which are often facilitated by county
extension people, are outlined at the end of the county by county assessments.
This report provides an overview of water resource education programs
statewide as well as valuable contact and resource information. The University
of Arizona's Cooperative Extension is a unique network of education programs
and trained educators.
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