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Verde River, photo bt Gary Beverly
The Verde River is vital for people and wildlife alike. photo by Gary Beverly

Protect Arizona’s Rivers, Streams, and Groundwater

Nearly forty years ago, when Congress passed the Clean Water Act, it set the goal of making all of our nation’s waters safe for fishing and swimming and to advance the ultimate goal of “restoring and maintaining the chemical, physical, and biological integrity of the nation’s surface waters.”

While many successes and improvements have occurred since passage of this landmark legislation, we still have much to do, and there are continued and growing threats to this important law and all that it protects.

Our Goals

  • ensure that Clean Water Act protections continue to apply to Arizona’s intermittent and ephemeral waters (which do not flow consistently or year-round) – approximately 95 percent of our rivers and streams
  • protect groundwater resources by promoting water conservation and limiting groundwater pumping to sustainable levels statewide
  • monitor water quality and quantity in our rivers and streams in order to advocate for their protection
  • promote hands-on conservation work to engage Arizonans in learning about our water resources and acting to restore and maintain them
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Current News/Take Action!

Get involved in protecting Arizona's precious water resources! Check out our latest action alerts to take action on current water issues.

Get involved in our Water Sentinels program! Check our online calendar for upcoming opportunities.

For information on more ways to get involved, upcoming meetings and events, and more, please contact Sandy Bahr at (602) 253-8633 or

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Water Sentinels Project

The Sierra Club’s Water Sentinels program mobilizes volunteers to protect, improve, and restore our waters through hands-on conservation work, public education, and citizen action. Our Sentinels work throughout the state, but our current focus is on the Verde and San Pedro rivers, where we monitor water quality conditions, and on the Rio Salado Habitat Restoration Area in Phoenix, where we conduct monthly weed-and-clean events to protect this important riparian area. We also organize stream clean-ups on several waterways across Arizona.

Learn more about this program using the links below or contact Jennifer Martin, our Water Sentinels Coordinator, at (602) 254-8362 or Check our online calendar for upcoming activities.

National Sierra Club Water Sentinels page

Project Thrive (website): Water Setinels Program, April 19, 2012

General Info and Volunteer Opportunities:

Arizona Water Sentinels factsheet

Rio Salado Weed & Clean factsheet

Reports and Data:

Arizona Water Sentinels data

The State of the Verde River report (2012) - A summary of five years of Water Sentinels water quality data on the Verde River

Going With the Flow report (2013) - A summary of five years of Water Sentinels flow data collection on the Upper Verde River

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Upper Verde Wild and Scenic Proposal

The upper Verde River in Arizona has been a candidate for designation as a Wild and Scenic River since 1982 when the Prescott National Forest prepared the first eligibility study for the area. Since that time, the river has been well researched, providing a more complete understanding of its outstanding and remarkable ecological value. Although the Verde River is the longest living river surviving in Arizona, threats to the upper Verde River and its riparian habitats appear with increasing frequency and severity. Three decades later, protecting the upper Verde River is more important than ever. Now is the time to designate the Upper Verde Wild and Scenic River. The Sierra Club is part of an effort to do exactly that.

We encourage you to learn more about this proposal and the Verde River. For more information on the Wild and Scenic Proposal, please contact (602) 253-8633 or

Wild and Scenic Proposal – Executive Summary (9.1 MB pdf)

Check out upcoming hikes in the Upper Verde area!

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Water Resources

Water Factsheet (168 KB pdf) – learn more about Arizona’s water resources, the Clean Water Act, and how you can get involved

Bottled Water Brochure (946 KB pdf) – find out the truth about the bottled water industry and its effect on our health and environment

The Clean Water Act and the Verde River (9MB pdf) – discover if and how the Clean Water Act protects the Verde and similar rivers in our state and what more can be done

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Headings on this page...

Our Goals

Current News / Take Action

Water Sentinels Project

Upper Verde Wild and Scenic Proposal

Water Resources


photo by Mike Dege

To get involved with the Sierra Club’s water work in Arizona, please contact our office at (602) 253-8633 or by email.

Are you interested in learning more about water issues in Arizona and ways to get involved? Would you like to work with others who are interested in the same? Get involved with the Water Sentinels! Contact Jennifer Martin at (602) 254-8362 or by email.

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Please help us in our effort to protect the local streams in Arizona with your tax deductable donation to the Water Sentinel Project.

Please donate to the Water Sentinels Project

Sierra Club, Grand Canyon Chapter, 202 E. McDowell Rd, Suite 277, Phoenix, AZ 85004, (602) 253-8633

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