ADEQ: Arizona Department of Environmental Quality, Arizona's Official Web Site
Our mission is to protect and enhance public health and the environment
Water Quality Division: Watershed Management: Education and Outreach

Water Quality Improvement Education Grants

In 2007, the Water Quality Improvement Grant program released a one time competitive request for grant applications (RFGA) specifically for education and outreach projects focused on nonpoint source pollution in Arizona. A list of projects awarded under this RFGA can be found at:

If you have questions about funding opportunities for education and outreach projects related to nonpoint source pollution and water quality, please contact us.


ADEQ offers several education and outreach programs directed at improving awareness of nonpoint source pollution and improving water quality within Arizona's watersheds.

Arizona Envirothon

Envirothon is a natural resources competition for high school students. Teams of five students work to answer natural resource questions and develop solutions to environmental problems. Envirothon integrates five areas of study: forestry, aquatics, wildlife, soils, and an environmental issue that changes each year. With Section 319 funding, ADEQ has been able to support the Arizona Envirothon since its establishment in 1998. Envirothon provides a great learning experience that can strengthen the foundation for environmental stewardship.

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Master Watershed Steward

The mission of the Master Watershed Steward Program (MWS) is to educate and train citizens across the state of Arizona to serve as volunteers in the monitoring, restoration, conservation and protection of their water and watersheds. The MWS program is a partnership of the University of Arizona Cooperative Extension and the Arizona Department of Environmental Quality.

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Project WET

ADEQ developed Project Water Education for Teachers (Project WET) in partnership with the University of Arizona to provide educational materials for teachers to use in their classrooms. ADEQ provided initial funding for the development of the program, and UofA has put together water quality and nonpoint source pollution curricula for grades kindergarten through twelfth. UofA is now implementing this education statewide, while ADEQ uses the curriculum for a variety of education and outreach activities.

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Nonpoint Source Education for Municipal Officials (NEMO)

ADEQ developed the Nonpoint Source Education for Municipal Officials (NEMO) project to increase their knowledge of the watershed and help ADEQ to more effectively fund grant projects that result in tangible water quality improvements in Arizona.

ADEQ partnered with the University of Arizona to write watershed-based plans for three of Arizona's Watersheds: the Bill Williams Watershed, the Verde Watershed and the Upper Gila Watershed.

These watershed-based plans include many of the same elements of a TMDL implementation plan but are written for a much larger area. UofA will also include some implementation recommendations that will help streamline ADEQ's work to focus on potential problems.

  1. Characterize the watershed (soils, slope, population, geology, etc.) Identify areas that are susceptible to water quality problems and pollution (point and nonpoint sources). Not only 303(d) listed or non-attaining waters, but also waters/areas that are vulnerable to degradation.
  2. Identify the sources that need to be controlled to protect or improve water quality.
  3. Identify the problem areas that ADEQ and/or stakeholders should address through monitoring or project implementation. Identify the pristine areas (i.e. unique waters or special areas of concern) that need to be protected.
  4. Identify management measures to be implemented to protect or improve/restore water quality. Where and why? Estimate costs of the potential management measures.
  5. Estimate the load reduction expected from the different management measures. Rank the management measures to demonstrate which measures are the most effective means for protecting or restoring water quality.

Having watershed-based plans written for three of Arizona's large watersheds will allow the Water Quality Improvement Grant Program to fund a wide variety of projects to control nonpoint source pollution.

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