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Cottonwood City Officials Mull Continuation Of Water Education Funds

Angela Gervasi KNAU

The Cottonwood City Council is set to consider a continuation of funding for a years-long water conservation education program at a meeting Tuesday evening.

The program began in 2012, according to council, and has since been implemented in schools throughout the Verde Valley to teach students between kindergarten and 8th grade. City officials say it was the state’s first “comprehensive water education” program.

The proposal to continue the program includes curriculum for constructing groundwater models, onsite chemical tests, and lessons about regional invasive species. Council is set to decide on continuing the program for two more years, through May 2023, using an allocation of $35,520. 

Participating students “will be able to base their future water consumer decisions and habits on scientific data,” the proposal says. 

It comes as the entirety of Arizona remains in a drought even after an active monsoon season. As of Tuesday morning, the majority of Yavapai County remained in a moderate level of drought, according to the National Drought Mitigation Center. Environmental advocacy groups say the Verde River, a major supplier for Verde Valley communities, continues to sustain threats from groundwater pumping. The Sierra Club reports a decline in river flow in recent years