The Watershed Research and Education Program (WREP) began in 2000 by means of a gift from the Salt River Projectís (SRP) New Century Capital Campaign. For the first four years of its existence, the endeavor was known as the Verde Watershed Research and Education Program and was focused on the 5,500 square mile Verde River watershed. The watershed encompasses unique and spectacular areas located in central Arizona, including parts of Yavapai, Coconino, and Gila counties. Although the program continues to be highly involved in the Verde River watershed, it began to expand to study all watersheds in north-central Arizona in 2004.
In addition to supporting scientific research, WREP organizes annual field schools to increase public knowledge and facilitate informed public policy regarding water-related issues in Arizona. Every even year, a high-quality, low-cost field school is offered to K through 12 educators throughout north-central Arizona. Every odd year, the field school is structured to provide water science, policy, and law information to the regionís elected officials.
Beginning in 2007, WREP received a multi-year grant from the Arizona Science Foundation to work with AZRivers.org. This grant is a collaboration between the University of Arizona, Phoenix Community College, and WREP to expand water education workshops to include students and advocacy groups.
- development, coordination, and promotion of research, education, and outreach programs related to water resources in north-central Arizona watersheds;
- providing a centralized, coordinated, and supported location for storage and exchange of north-central Arizona watershed information.