Recharge The Rain

Community Resilience through STEAM Education


A joint project of Watershed Management Group and Arizona Project WET

Sponsored by Tucson Water*



History of Recharge the Rain 

Recharge the Rain began in January 2017 as a partnership between Arizona Project WET and Watershed Management Group. Funded by a 4-year National Oceanic & Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) Environmental Literacy Plan grant, the program moves participants through a continuum from awareness to knowledge gain to conceptual understanding to action, inspiring teachers, students, and community members to adopt an ethic of environmental stewardship. Participants understand the relationships between local watershed health, the hydrologic cycle as well as the urban heat effect, and the repercussions of extreme weather events. They have invested in rainwater harvesting initiatives and employed their skills to mitigate environmental hazards for community resilience to increased temperatures, extreme storm events, and persistent drought.


Betsy Wilkening


*NOAA Funding  was completed in June 2021, but Tucson schools that are Tucson Water Customers can continue to participate in this project.



Recharge the Rain Teachers

Recharge the Rain Teachers Photo

Since 2017, Recharge the Rain has worked with 4th-12th grade Tucson teachers by developing curricula in climate literacy and engineering design of rainwater harvesting systems, engaging students in citizen science monitoring projects, and implementing student-led designs of schoolyard rainwater harvesting systems.

We currently have a cohort of teachers and mentor-teachers focusing in working groups on the topics of:

  • Science Investigations in Schoolyard Living Laboratories

  • Engineering Design of Rainwater Harvesting systems

  • Student Climate Action and Community Engagement through Artistic Expression

Recharge the Rain Calendar On-line Resources Teaching Resources

Recharge the Rain Students

Recharge the Rain Students Photo

Students are at the core of building community resilience learning about our watershed and the local climate threats of increased temperatures, extreme storm events, and persistent drought. Using the engineering design process they develop designs of rainwater harvesting systems employing rain basins to sink the rain and support native plants. Schoolyards are transformed into living laboratories for students to investigate the newly developed ecosystems using tools such as:

Project Drawdown Climate Solutions Rainwater Harvesting Links

Recharge the Rain Community

Recharge the Rain Community Photo

Community members can learn more about rainwater harvesting through:

If you would like to participate in rainwater harvesting installations at schools contact Clayton Lyon. Opportunities are available to participate in Watershed Management Group's (WMG) Green Living Co-op program. Learn more about WMG's School Program.

The Tucson office of the National Weather Service has information about monthly, daily normal and extreme weather and climate reports for learning more about our home.

Become a WMG Docent Visit WMG's Living Lab & Learning Center

Build Your Own Basin-BYOB

When COVID-19 restrictions eliminated the ability to work with students and community members in person to bild schoolyard rain basins, the Build Your Own Basin (BYOB) project was created. In this project, teachers engage students in the engineering design of rain basins using the AquaSTEM rainwater harvesting curriculum (Office Version).  


Check out our photo gallery: