A novel approach to water conservation by the Metropolitan Water District of Southern California that encourages painless changes in outdoor water use and promotes appreciation of native, drought-proof plants hits the big screen, television, airwaves and news pages throughout the Southland.
Metropolitan's campaign, done in conjunction with its 26 member public agencies, includes print advertisements, public service announcements, cable television commercials, as well as movie theater slides throughout the district's six-county service area.
"The ads use whimsical illustration and humor to draw attention to the fact that we are facing the driest year in recorded history, and to call on Southern Californians to stop over-watering their plants, which is a major plant-killer," said Dr. Anthony Fellow, Metropolitan Director and chairman of the communications committee.
Comic book-like print ads debut in 13 newspapers, including the San Diego Union Tribune, Los Angeles Newspaper Group, Orange County Register, Riverside Press-Enterprise and the Inland Valley Daily Bulletin, this Sunday (Aug. 11), and run through Oct. 13.
A 30-second television spot will appear on local cable stations in the Inland Empire beginning later this month. A full-color slide will appear on more than 450 movie screens throughout the region from Aug. 23 to Sept. 19.
Metropolitan's multi-faceted campaign to encourage outdoor water conservation and promote the use of native and drought-tolerant plants in gardens was launched in July, with the help of actress Rene Russo, a native plant enthusiast. The district's new campaign shifts the focus of water conservation from inside the home to outside, where 30 to 70 percent of water is used.
"Most people over-water their gardens by up to five feet per year," the television spot voiceover reminds viewers. "Cutting back by just 10 percent would supply enough water for a medium-sized city for a whole year."
The campaign, created in-house by Metropolitan staff, is being launched in the state's second straight dry year, with record dry conditions in Los Angeles, San Diego and across Southern California. Despite the lack of rain, the region is still assured of a reliable water supply because of investments made by Metropolitan and its member agencies in water conservation, recycling and groundwater cleanup programs, as well as additional water storage.
"We don't see this as a quick fix. We are asking Southern Californians to take long-term measures that help us adapt to our region's natural climate variability," said Adan Ortega, Metropolitan's vice president for external affairs. "Starting now, we must take water conservation to the next level -- into our lifestyles and our homes."