Abstracts of presentations given on Wednesday, 19 July 2006, in session 22 of the UCOWR Conference.


Arizona faces many complicated water resource issues including: groundwater overdraft; nonpoint source pollution; population growth; and water use conflicts. The Arizona Master Watershed Steward (MWS) Program is designed to prepare, educate and train volunteers who can provide knowledge, leadership, and service in the protection and monitoring of local watersheds. The first MWS training course was presented in Prescott, Arizona in fall of 2001, and expanded in 2002 and 2003. The training course has 10 four-hour sessions and two daylong field trips. Topics covered are: hydrology; climate; geologic processes; ecology; human impacts; water quality; land uses; geospatial tools; water law, and water resources management. Principles are taught using lecture/discussion format with hands-on activities that reinforce subject matter. Instructors typically include: Extension specialists, agents, and staff; agency professionals, and other authorities. MWS trainees become certified after contributing 40 hours of volunteer service. In 2003, Arizona MWS received $350,000 from the Arizona Department of Environmental Quality to develop a statewide curriculum guide and establish a statewide Arizona MWS program. A statewide MWS Coordinator was hired and the curriculum guide was published in August 2005. As of 2005-06, MWS courses have been offered in Benson, Cottonwood, Phoenix, Prescott, Safford, Flagstaff, Tucson, Bullhead City, and Sierra Vista. A total of 202 volunteers have completed the course and contributed 2,500 hours of volunteer service. Volunteer projects have included: organization of local water conferences and watershed groups, water quality monitoring, noxious weed management, rangeland monitoring, well water testing, and restoration projects.