First-ever Water Awareness Month festival is on the way!

First-ever Water Awareness Month festival is on the way!

March 23, 2023

What a difference a year makes! 

A year ago, all the water talk in the West was about the instability of the Colorado River system, the dangerously low levels that water stored in Lake Mead and Lake Powell were reaching, and about the vital importance of conserving our water supplies.

Now? A mere year later, all the talk is.. still about the fragility of the Colorado River system and the increasing importance of conservation, not just in the short term, but permanently.


  • Water Awareness Month Festival
  • Date: April 1, 2023
  • Time: 10:00am – 2:00pm MST
  • Location: Wesley Bolin Memorial Plaza 1700 West Washington Street Phoenix, AZ 85007
  • The Festival will host 31 educational booths from a wide variety of organizations from throughout the state (see" "participants" box below). The Festival will also feature food vendors, a stage with live music and presentations on the importance of our State’s water supplies.

Oh, a lot of attention is getting paid to the waves of “atmospheric rivers” washing over California and parts east. 

But while the near-record winter moisture soaking many parts of the West is indisputably good news, it is mostly good news in the short term. More broadly speaking, it will take several consecutive years of above-average winter moisture for the Southwest’s most important river system to escape crisis mode

The Colorado River system is still in great jeopardy. Shortage declarations for the Colorado River states are still in place, and the likelihood of shortages continuing into the foreseeable future remains near 100 percent.

Conservation and water awareness still matter. Maybe now more than ever.

Welcome to Water Awareness Month 2023. As part of the effort to keep the public aware of the many ways they can help conserve water, ADWR and our many WAM partners have organized a month of events promoting wise water use in addition to the April 1 Festival..

Arizona Water Awareness Month is an annual outreach campaign to spread the word about the value of conserving the Southwest’s most precious natural resource, water. 


  • WAM Festival highlights will include:
  • A temporary Water Awareness Installation that will feature important elements of Arizona’s water history within the State’s cities and Native American communities;
  • A water picture booth where attendees can take photos with Wayne Drop and City of Phoenix’s Loo Poo.
  • A Water Awareness Month “Water Wall” that will feature some interesting facts about water and the different ways to conserve it.


In recognition of Water Awareness Month, the Arizona Department of Water Resources will be hosting the first ever Water Awareness Month (WAM) Festival at Wesley Bolin Plaza, on Saturday, April 1, from 10am-2pm. 

“April was designated Water Awareness Month in the State of Arizona in an Executive Order in 2008 as a call to action for Arizona residents to use water more efficiently, to practice low water-use lifestyles, and to create a culture of conservation to reduce the impact of drought on our natural resources, economy, and quality of life,” observed Nemesis Ortiz-Declet, ADWR’s WAM coordinator.

Water education is a cornerstone to any comprehensive water conservation program, and greater awareness of water issues can be gained through community education, action and celebration. The Department would like to welcome all Arizona residents to learn more about water, their own water-use, and how to be more efficient. 

The Water Awareness Month Festival will be held at Wesley Bolin Plaza, on Saturday April 1

ADWR and its partners will celebrate water awareness and promote water conservation with about 30 interactive education booths from different organizations and agencies, including presentations from the Central Arizona Project, Arizona Project WET, the City of Phoenix, Tonto National Forest, Arizona State Parks, the Kyl Center for Water Policy, and more.

ADWR will be hosting two water conservation education booths at the festival, including a hydrology demonstration booth and a collaborative recycling and waste management booth, co-sponsored with our sister agency, the Arizona Department of Environmental Quality.

Details about all the April events are available on the Water Awareness Month website.

First launched in 2011, the WAM website overflows with ideas and activities to help you learn more about water conservation. Water Awareness Month itself began in 2008, when Arizona’s Governor signed an Executive Order that designates April as Water Awareness Month.

Participants in the 2023 Water Awareness Month Festival

Water providers and conservation experts around the state contribute information to the website about water-related activities, events, tips, and resources. The WAM website is full of ideas and activities to help Arizonans learn more about water conservation and become more aware of our state’s most precious resource.

Historically, Arizona has been very successful in improving water efficiency and conservation around the state. 

Despite a population increase of six million residents since 1957, Arizonans are using about the same amount of water now as we did then. 

Yes, changes in Arizona’s economy – from largely rural to largely urban – have played a big role in that conservation. But so has our concerted conservation efforts, anchored by the creation of the Arizona Groundwater Management Act of 1980.