Everything we do and everything we touch is connected to water.  The food we eat, the clothes we wear, and the electricity to light our houses were all created using large amounts of water.

Water and education are closely inter-related.  Although education is not vital for our existence as water is, it is of great importance.  We need education for our society to prosper, to better understand each other and the world, for our personal development and for many other reasons.

The intimate relationship between water and education is based on the need for information: We need to be educated about water in order to know how to deal with all kinds of water-related problems. Communities need to know how to best manage their water systems. Education and information is the first step to solutions and more generally to make us aware of the need for improved water management.

Sustainable water management is crucial to secure social and economic permanency, as well as a healthy environment. This is achievable only as a result of cooperation and a commitment to education.


Childrens Water FestivalThe Children’s Water Festival has been an annual event since May 1999. The event offers approximately 1,800 fourth grade students from Pueblo, Colorado schools a fun day of water education.  There are over 40 local presenters that provide various educational presentations to the students.  The presentations include experts on agriculture, water resources, water quality, conservation, and many other topics surrounding our most precious resource, water.

The sponsors for this event are:

  • Board of Water Works of Pueblo
  • Bureau of Reclamation
  • St. Charles Mesa Water District
  • Pueblo West Metropolitan District
  • CSU-Pueblo
  • Lower Arkansas Valley Water Conservancy District

Arkansas River Basin Water ForumThe first Arkansas River Basin Water Forum was held in 1995 in Pueblo. The Forum was developed as a means to bring together the diverse water interests to explain their views and engage in open dialogue about water issues in the basin. Through this dialogue the Forum seeks to create a greater understanding of Colorado water law, water use and water conservation. Through the Forums, a wider understanding of water issues has evolved and along with it the opportunities to find common ground.

Since 1995 the Forum has been held each year, generally alternating between the upper and lower basins. Each year a committee of dedicated people comes together to sponsor and host the Forum. Attendance at the Forum varies from 125 to 200 people.

The Forum presents the Bob Appel “Friend of the Arkansas” Award annually to honor an individual who has served and worked to improve the condition of the Arkansas River throughout southeastern Colorado. The award is in memory of Bob Appel who, as Coordinator for the Southeast Colorado RC&D Council, tirelessly provided leadership for the Arkansas River Basin Water Forum. The award is funded by the Southeastern Colorado Water Conservancy District.

With the assistance of the sponsors of the Forum, the Arkansas River Basin Water Forum offers two scholarships each year to graduate students in order to support their education and research in water resources. The amount of the scholarship awards in the past have been $2,000 for first place and $1,000 for second place.

The Forum invites submissions for the annual art contest for students in grades K-12 and all others for the open photography contest. Entries should focus on the Forum theme, which is selected each year.

Arkansas River Basin Water Forum