Drought resiliency and energy savings through water conservation will be focus of fourth annual national awareness campaign
With at least 36 states facing water shortages this year, mayors across the country will be asking residents to make a commitment to conserve water and cut pollution by taking part in a national contest aimed at drastically slashing water and energy use across the nation—and in return residents can win a new Toyota Prius Plug-In, water-saving fixtures and hundreds of other prizes.
In addition to helping the environment, the mayors earn bragging rights about winning the Mayor’s Challenge for Water Conservation, a nonprofit competition, April 1 to 30, to see which leaders can best inspire their residents to make a series of informative online pledges to reduce water and energy usage.
“Whether it's drought conditions in the West or the high costs of energy related to water use in the East, saving water has become one of the most talked-about issues facing the nation today,” said Wyland, artist and president of the Wyland Foundation. “This gives city leaders a way to supplement their awareness efforts in a friendly, spirited way.”
Presented nationally by the Wyland Foundation and Toyota, with support from the U.S Environmental Protection Agency’s Office of Water, National League of Cities, U.S. Forest Service, The Toro Co., Wondergrove Kids, Bytelaunch and WaterSmart Software, mayors nationwide are encouraged to challenge their residents to pledge to conserve water, save energy and reduce pollution on behalf of their city throughout the month of April.
Last year, residents from more than 3,600 cities in all 50 U.S. states pledged to reduce their annual consumption of freshwater by 1.4 billion gal, reduce waste sent to landfills by 36 million lb, prevent more than 179,000 lb of hazardous waste from entering our watersheds, and reducing greenhouse gas emissions by 5.3 billion lb. Participants have included mayors from Seattle; Dallas; Houston; Denver; Washington, D.C.; Los Angeles; Honolulu; San Diego; San Francisco; Long Beach, Calif.; and Miami.
To participate, residents enter the name of their city at www.mywaterpledge.com, and then make a series of online pledges to conserve water on behalf of their city. Cities compete in the following population categories: 5,000 to 29,999 residents, 30,000 to 99,999 residents, 100,000 to 299,999 residents, 300,000 to 599,999 residents, and 600,000-plus residents. Cities with the highest percentage of residents who take the challenge in their population category are deemed the winner. Residents from those cities are entered to win an array of environmentally positive prizes. Residents also discover resources in their area to take their commitment of conservation even further, from regional water and energy resource issues to cost-saving tips at home.