Rural Water Groups

ADWR's Rural Programs Section provides support to a number of rural water groups that consist of both rural watershed partnerships and other rural entities.  Not all Arizona watershed groups are listed, and some that are may not currently be active. ADWR currently participates with watershed groups listed in blue.  If you know of a watershed group that would like to be included on this site please contact [email protected]

Watershed Partnership Groups in Arizona

Aravaipa Watershed Conservation Alliance

Aravaipa Watershed Conservation Alliance LogoThe Aravaipa Watershed Conservation alliance, established in 2016, by working ranchers alongside The Nature Conservancy to maintain open spaces and protect the Upper Aravaipa Watershed. AWCA is a 501(c)(3) non-profit that works to use conservation and restoration to protect the water and its quality, wildlife, native fish, sustainable agriculture, and recreational opportunities within the Aravaipa watershed for future generations.


The goal of the Aravaipa Watershed Conservation Alliance is to preserve and sustain the Aravaipa Valley’s natural landscapes by means of watershed and rangeland restoration. The AWCA will create a renewed environment that supports wildlife, grassroots community education, and a holistic agricultural environment, all while limiting fragmented lands to promote a complete and functioning landscape for current and future generations.

  • In early 2020, AWCA began working with the US Bureau of Reclamation on a watershed management plan for the upper Aravaipa watershed. This plan will help AWCA to identify key habitat projects the partnership can employ.
  • The Upper Aravaipa Watershed covers around 380,000 acres, and includes 3 wilderness areas; Aravaipa Canyon Wilderness, Galiuro Wilderness, and the Santa Teresa Wilderness. The Nature Conservancy also manages their Aravaipa Canyon Preserve within the basin.
  • The basin is also home to 45 species of mammals including desert bighorn sheep, mountain lions, and bobcats. There are also over 228 species of birds, including the endangered yellow billed cuckoo, the Gould’s turkey, and peregrine falcon.

Contact Information

Aravaipa Watershed Conservation Alliance
36933W Klondyke Rd.
Willcox, Arizona 85643

[email protected]

Coconino Plateau Watershed Partnership And Technical Advisory Committee

The Coconino Plateau Water Advisory Council (CPWAC) was established in 2000 with support from ADWR under the Rural Watershed Initiative and was originally administered as a program by Coconino County.  In 2012 the CPWAC formed a 501(c)(4) non-profit for the purpose of lobbying and funding, and in 2013 formed the affiliate Coconino Plateau Watershed Partnership (CPWP), a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization.  The CPWAC and CPWP includes three committees: Technical Advisory Committee, Government Affairs Committee, and Public Outreach Committee.  The Water Advisory Council and the Partnership have worked to provide a better understanding of local water issues such as supply and demand in northern Arizona.


The Coconino Plateau Water Advisory Council (CPWAC) and Coconino Plateau Watershed Partnership (CPWP) were formed to facilitate and implement sound water resource management and conservation strategies on the Coconino Plateau.  The Council coordinates and cooperates in the identification, prioritization and implementation of comprehensive policies, projects, and programs to assist in meeting the water needs of the Coconino Plateau.


The Vision of the Council and Partnership is to ensure an adequate long-term supply of water is available to meet the current and future reasonable needs while preserving the health of the environment on the Coconino Plateau.

CPWAC/CPWP Boundary MapThe CPWAC/CPWP area of interest is defined by the group as the Coconino Plateau.  The general boundaries are the Colorado River on the north including the community of Page, the Hualapai Reservation on the west, the Navajo Reservation on the east and Sedona on the south as depicted on the CPWAC/CPWP Boundary Map.  This area is in Coconino County and straddles portions of three groundwater basins (the Little Colorado River, the Coconino Plateau, and the Verde River Groundwater Basins), and includes areas of the Verde River, Upper Colorado River, and Little Colorado River watersheds.


Board of Directors & Committee Chairs

CPWP and CPWAC Board of Directors include a chair, vice-chair, and secretary treasurer along with chairs of the following active committees:

Government Affairs Committee

Public Outreach Committee

Technical Advisory Committee

Contact Information

Coconino Plateau Water Advisory Council and Watershed Partnership
Ron Doba, Coordinator
PHONE: (480) 299-5764
[email protected]
[email protected]

Friends of the Verde River

Friends of the Verde RiverOn December 2011, Friends of the Verde River was established as a 501 (c)3 and became independent of the Arizona State Parks Foundation. Currently, Friends has an expansive range of programs which include habitat improvement, channel restoration, flow restoration, and sustainable river recreation while continuing to engage the community through outreach and volunteer programs.


Friends of the Verde River works collaboratively to restore habitat, sustain flows and promote community stewardship to support a healthy Verde River system.


Friends of the Verde River envisions a healthy, flowing Verde River and tributaries that support our unique environment, vibrant economy, and quality of life for future generations.

Verde Watershed MapThe Verde River watershed encompasses the Verde River - approximately 192 miles, from its headwaters in Chino Valley to the confluence with the Salt River - and the smaller tributaries that feed into it.

Outstanding and noteworthy elements within the watershed, which provide the inspiration for the activities of the Friends of the Verde River, include:

  • miles of lush riparian habitat
  • 40.5 miles of federally designated wild and scenic river
  • one of Arizona's last free-flowing rivers
  • a rare Fremont cottonwood/Goodding willow riparian gallery forest - one of twenty remaining in the world

Board of Directors

Consists of a chair, vice-chair, treasurer and secretary.

Executive Director
Nancy Steele


Contact Information

Friends of the Verde River

Laura Jones, Coordinator
[email protected]

Northern Arizona Municipal Water Users Association (NAMWUA) and Technical Advisory Committee

The Northern Arizona Municipal Water Users Association (NAMWUA) represents a group of northern Arizona municipalities that work together to speak as one voice for water policy.  Created in 2002, NAMWUA is managed by an Executive Board of elected officials from eight northern Arizona municipalities.  Through cooperating with one another, NAMWUA’s goal is to develop a sustainable regional water supply.  In addition to sharing knowledge to better manage existing water supplies, NAMWUA seeks to secure water rights and infrastructure funding for importing additional supplies. 

Membership is open to any municipal water user or provider in northern Arizona that supports NAMWUA’s mission. 

Mission Statement

To unite our expertise and resources in a collaborative effort to secure regional and local water resources for today and the future.

Norther Arizona Municipal Water Users Association

Organizational Values

  • Embraces the concept of sustainability of water resources for their customers
  • Promotes working relationships with water providers, state and federal agencies and other stakeholders
  • Seeks to develop and communicate a unified position before regulatory agencies and legislative bodies
  • Encourages water conservation, water quality, and stakeholder input

Executive Board & Technical Advisory Committee

The Executive Board  and Technical Advisory Committee consist of a chair, vice-chair and secretary along with the following members:

Town of Prescott Valley
City of Flagstaff
City of Prescott
Town of Clarkdale
Town of Chino Valley
City of Cottonwood
Town of Payson
City of Sedona

Contact Information

Northern Arizona Municipal Water Users Association
Ron Doba, Administrator

Upper Agua Fria Watershed Partnership

The Upper Agua Fria Watershed Partnership (UAFWP) grew out of the Water Study Committee of the Big Bug Economic Development Alliance in early 2000.  During the same period the Arizona Department of Water Resources began encouraging rural areas to form grassroots regional watershed groups to function as water study and management units outside the Active Management Areas.

Upper Agua Fria Watershed PartnershipThe UAFWP consists of area stakeholders: Residents of the various communities, ranchers, members of community organizations and county, state and federal public agencies in the study area. The UAFWP also works closely with BLM and Prescott National Forest planning staff concerning their Land Use Planning and Recreational Planning.



contact Information

Mary Hoadley, Chair UAFWP
HC 74, Box 4136
Mayer, AZ 86333


[email protected]

Upper San Pedro Partnership

The Upper San Pedro Partnership was formed in 1998 as a consortium of federal, state and local agencies and organizations to assist in meeting the long-term water needs of the San Pedro Riparian National Conservation Area (SPRNCA) and of the area residents. 

The Partnership’s goals are to meet the long-term water needs of the Sierra Vista Subwatershed by achieving sustainable yield of the regional aquifer to:

  1. preserve the San Pedro Riparian National Conservation Area (SPRNCA), and

  2. ensure the long-term viability of Fort  Huachuca.

Upper San Pedro Partnership

The purpose of the Partnership is to coordinate and cooperate in the identification, prioritization and implementation of comprehensive policies and projects to assist in meeting water needs in the Sierra Vista Subwatershed of the Upper San Pedro River Basin.


Contact Information

Upper San Pedro Partnership
1011 N. Coronado Drive
Sierra Vista, AZ 85635

[email protected]

Cobre Valley Watershed Partnership

Cobre Valley Watershed PartnershipThe formation of the Cobre Valley Watershed Partnership (CVWP) seeks to bring together multiple stakeholders from a wide variety of backgrounds to contribute to a Watershed Action Plan with a clear vision, well-defined goals, viable projects, and robust support from the tri-cities communities of Globe, Miami, and Claypool, Arizona. The formation of the partnership is facilitated with a 2019 USBOR WaterSMART grant, and builds on the prior work conducted by the University of Arizona's Water Resources Research Center. The partnership seeks to be a central hub for ideas and organization in the greater community. 


The CVWP strives to facilitate stakeholder driven watershed planning that promotes sustainable economic development through community action and educational outreach.


Create and maintain vibrant and healthy communities, environment, and economy in the Cobre Valley by fostering collaboration, transparent decision-making, and cooperative projects that will benefit the watershed for generations to come. 

Watershed Partnership Summary

Cobre Valley is located in the mountains of southern Gila County, east of Phoenix in central Arizona, and is part of what is known as the "Copper Corridor." Nestled at 3,500 feet and 85 miles east of Phoenix, Arizona, theCobre Valley spans approximately 100 square miles and consists of seven sub-watersheds in the Salt River Basin. The primary source of water in Cobre Valley groundwater. Globe, Claypool, and Miami all reside within the same valley, and subsequently share many of the same issues surrounding water:

  • Reliable sources of potable water
  • Groundwater contamination
  • Aging infrastructure
  • Stormwater management
  • Changing economic conditions
Contact Information

Cobre Valley Watershed Partnership
Victoria Hermosilla, Coordinator
[email protected]

Fort Huachuca Sentinel Landscape Restoration Partnership

For HuachucaThe U.S. Departments of Agriculture, Defense, and the Interior established the Sentinel Landscapes Partnership to better serve areas of the United States where working and natural lands converge with national defense facilities.  In April 2015 Fort Huachuca was designated as a Sentinel Landscape. 

The Sentinel Landscape Restoration Partnership (SLRP) exists to facilitate cooperative projects that improve water quality and quantity, range and forest conditions, wildlife habitat, the status of rare species, and other vital features of the working and natural lands within the Landscape and nearby ecologically connected areas.  The SLRP is engaged in efforts to conserve grasslands and forests that provide habitat, water, livelihoods, and recreation in Cochise, Pima, and Santa Cruz Counties.  

Fort Huachuca Sentinel Boundary

For decades, people have worked together to protect the natural and cultural features of southeastern Arizona's sky island region.  In 2015, the SLRP came together with the added responsibility of preserving the electromagnetic testing range and the restricted air space maintained by Fort Huachuca in support of manned and unmanned aviation operations. 

The Fort Huachuca Sentinel Landscape Partnership includes Federal, State, and Local government agencies, and Non-Governmental Organizations, and has two subcommittees: the Open Lands Subcommittee, and the Sentinel Landscape Restoration Partnership (SLRP).  


Contact Information

Fort Huachuca Sentinel Landscape Steering Committee
Jerry Payne
[email protected]

Gila Watershed Partnership

The Gila Watershed Partnership (GWP) was founded in 1992 and is a 501(C)3 not-for-profit Arizona corporation comprised of community members, representatives from businesses, organizations, and local, state, and federal agencies.  The Gila Watershed Partnership works to improve watershed health and water quality of the Upper Gila Watershed through locally led efforts.


  • to conserve natural resources
  • to enhance the environment for all users
  • to maintain or improve the local economy
  • to increase recreational opportunities
  • to increase water quantity
  • to improve water quality
  • to prevent or minimize damage from large storms, floods, and other natural disasters 

Upper Gila River WatershedThe watershed of the Upper Gila River in southeastern Arizona is located primarily in Graham, Greenlee, and Cochise Counties and includes lands of the San Carlos Apache Tribe.  The watershed overlies four groundwater basins; Safford, Bonita Creek, Duncan Valley, and Morenci.  Originating in the Gila National Forest of New Mexico, the Gila River flows west through Arizona and eventually reaches the Gulf of California. 

Although the Upper Gila River and some of its tributaries are perennial, many tributaries are ephemeral.  The ephemeral streams can be fast and free flowing during the rainy season, yet are without water during the dry period.  The Upper Gila River and tributaries support a myriad of life in a vast area.  The Gila Watershed supplies the water needs for agriculture, industry, recreation, as well as critical habitat.

Executive BoardGila Watershed Partnership of Arizona

Includes a chair, vice-chair, and a secretary treasurer.

Executive Director

Melanie Tluczek, [email protected]


Contact Information

Gila Watershed Partnership
P.O. Box 1614, Thatcher, AZ 85552
PHONE:  (928) 322-0697
[email protected]

Little Colorado River Watershed Coordinating Council



The Little Colorado River Watershed Coordinating Council is an alliance of agencies, communities, companies, organizations and other watershed stakeholders dedicated to identifying, facilitating and implementing sound watershed resource management and conservation strategies within the Little Colorado River Watershed. 


The Little Colorado River Watershed Coordinating Council envisions a healthy, sustainable, and diverse watershed perpetuated by natural ecological and judicious and intelligent anthropic processes and capable of providing sustainable economic, social, educational, cultural, and environmental benefits for current and future generations. 


The Little Colorado River Watershed Coordinating Council’s mission is to be a progressive and proactive watershed organization dedicated to:

  1. Protecting, preserving, promoting, enhancing, and restoring ecological health and diversity, wildlife habitats and wildlife and fisheries resources, natural features, scenic beauty, prehistoric and historic natural and cultural resources through partnering with local, state, and federal agencies, tribes, communities, companies, organizations and other stakeholders; and promoting the implementation of wise management and conservation practices in support of the vision statement,
  2. Enhancing and protecting the quality and quantity of water in area creeks, streams, rivers, wetlands, ponds, springs, reservoirs and lakes,

  3. Promoting appropriate, cost effective, and sustainable recreation, economic, and financial security for present and future generations,

  4. Advancing education of wise and sustainable watershed and land management practices, encouraging responsible stewardship and fostering communication and cooperation among stakeholders across the watershed.


The Council is affiliated with the Little Colorado River Plateau Resource Conservation & Development Area, Inc. (Little Colorado RC&D).  The Little Colorado RC&D's Mission is "to support partnerships by providing leadership in natural resources, conservation and economic development with the communities and stakeholders of northeastern Arizona."


Contact Information

David Newlin, Executive Director
Mohave County Water Authority

The Mohave County Water Authority (MCWA) was officially formed in 1995.  The MCWA was created to keep the City of Kingman’s Colorado River supply in Mohave County for use by river communities.  It is comprised of representatives of the governing boards of:

Bullhead City, City of Kingman, Golden Shores Water Conservation District, Lake Havasu City,

Mohave Valley Irrigation & Drainage District, and Mohave Water Conservation District

MVIDDAll members of the Authority are entities with fourth, fifth, or sixth priority mainstream Colorado River water contracts with the Department of Interior for municipal and industrial use.  Mohave County is a member, though it does not have a Colorado River contract.  The MCWA has the assignment of the Kingman Colorado River contract and, in exchange, provides funds to Kingman for future develop of Kingman’s groundwater resources. 

As the Colorado River is the Mohave County river communities’ only source of water (there is no ground water backup) the MCWA also provides other functions such as acquiring additional water supplies, including effluent. It may store, recharge, and recover these supplies for the benefit of Mohave County water users.  The MCWA can also assist members with the development and operation of water diversion, conveyance, treatment, storage and recharge facilities, and the development of augmentation and conservation programs.


Contact Information

Mohave County Water Authority

2000 McCulloch Blvd N., Suite B, Lake Havasu City, AZ 86403
PHONE: (928) 453-5150
[email protected]

Oak Creek Watershed Council

The Oak Creek Watershed Council (OCWC), formerly the Oak Creek Canyon Task Force, was organized in 1994 by the Arizona Department of Environmental Quality as an informal watershed group, and evolved into a community-driven non-profit 501 (c) (3) organization in 2003.  The OCWC membership includes citizen scientists, consultants, hydrologists, geologists, engineers, professionals with varied expertise, and a volunteer force — Friends of Oak Creek.  A common goal is to support sustainable tourism while addressing its impacts, and tackle water issues of the community from a short and long-term perspective.  

In 2009, the Oak Creek Watershed Improvement Commission (WIC) was formed representing a larger group of stakeholders.  Current watershed challenges include water quality, quantity and conservation, watershed restoration, and the social, economic and environmental impacts on the watershed community.


The Oak Creek Watershed Improvement Commission (WIC)  advises the Oak Creek Watershed Council (OCWC) regarding policies, programs, regulations and strategies that will increase public awareness, knowledge and action though best management practices (BMPs) in water sustainability and water quality protection with measurable outcomes to enhance and enrich the area's watershed community.

Oak Creek WatershedThe Oak Creek Watershed drains a portion of the Verde River Basin beginning on the Colorado Plateau and continuing into the transition zone between the Colorado Plateau and Sonora desert, in North Central Arizona.  The watershed is approximately 300,000 acres, or about 464 square miles.  Its main watercourse is Oak Creek which is about 50 miles long and is also the largest tributary of the Verde River almost doubling its volume at the confluence.  Oak Creek is a valuable perennial stream that generally flows south from the confluence of Sterling Springs Canyon and Pumphouse Wash to its convergence with the Verde River.  Sterling Spring discharges into a tributary of Oak Creek. This is the start of perennial flow for Oak Creek.

Oak Creek Watershed Council

Contact Information

Oak Creek Watershed Council

PO Box 732, Sedona, AZ 86339

[email protected]

Yuma County Agricultural Water Coalition

Agricultural water use in the the Yuma area is tied to the development of water resources from the Colorado River.  The Yuma area is unique because a combination of factors, including geographic location, fertile soils, agricultural efficiency, technological innovation and high priority use water. An available workforce and environmental stewardship have transformed the Yuma area into one of the most productive agricultural centers in the United States. 

Yuma County Agricultural Water Coalition is an alliance consisting of the following water users and irrigation districts: Map of Yuma County

  • Wellton-Mohawk Irrigation and Drainage District (WMIDD)

  • Yuma County Water Users’ Association (YCWUA)

  • Yuma Mesa Irrigation and Drainage District (YMIDD)

  • Yuma Irrigation District (YID)

  • North Gila Valley Irrigation and Drainage District (NGVIDD)

  • Unit B Irrigation and Drainage District (Unit B)


contact information

Wade Noble
1405 W. 16th St. Suite A 
Yuma AZ 85364