Do you know what you would be able to do if you did not have any water? Do you know how your life would change, or what you would still be able to do the same? Well, the annual Flagstaff Water Festival presented these questions to local fourth graders on a sunny September afternoon in Foxglenn Park. Utilities Program Manager for the City of Flagstaff, Robin Harrington says that the water conservation taught by the Water Festival is especially important for those in Flagstaff.
“Living in the high desert, water conservation is critical,” Harrington says. ““It’s very important that we start working with the children as soon as we can.”
The Flagstaff Water Festival is a branch of the Arizona Project Water Education for Teachers (WET) – which is an University of Arizona organization – and is part of a chain of like-minded festivals that take place all across the state.
With these learning festivals taking place from Nogales to Lake Havasu, there have been over 96,000 students participating in the conservation-themed festivals since 2000.
This years Flagstaff Water Festival landed on a serendipitous day, as it was held on national Imagine a Day Without Water, which is an educational, and awareness-raising campaign put on by the Value of Water Coalition.
Taking full advantage of the coincidence, Kerry Schwartz, director of Arizona Project WET, says, “We thought it was a great hook to get people interested in the festival so we put together a lesson that really focuses on water conservation technology.”
Some schools, such as the Flagstaff Junior Academy as well as all of the schools in the Flagstaff Unified School District have gone as far as making the festival an integral part of their fourth-grade curriculum.