SAN DIEGO–While El Nino has delivered on at least part of its anticipated weather swings, it has done little to change the status quo facing the nation’s water supply problem.
That’s part of the message behind the Wyland National Mayor’s Challenge for Water Conservation, April 1 to 30, presented nationally by the Wyland Foundation and Toyota. The campaign, now in its fifth year, which kicked off April 1, with San Diego Mayor Kevin Faulconer issuing a nationwide challenge to mayors everywhere to use the power of their post to spread the word about the importance of water conservation.
Last year, mayors from 36 states encouraged residents to make over 390,000 pledges to promote drought resiliency, protect watersheds, and ultimately reduce stress on aging water infrastructure.
Residents make their pledges on the foundation’s website throughout the month of April. Cities with the highest percentage of residents that make pledges in their population categories qualify for over $50,000 in prize drawings. Mayors from cities across the nation, including Portland, Tucson, and Dallas, have already thrown their hats into the ring to see whose city can be the most water-wise for 2016. Students and teachers can take part in the pledge, too, by accessing a special section of the website. Once there, teachers can download lesson plans relating to water conservation, make the pledge on behalf of their classes and enter to win classroom supplies and gift cards for their school.
The non-profit campaign is presented in association with EPA WaterSense, The Toro Company, National League of Cities, Conserva Irrigation, and Earth Friendly Products (makers of ECOS). The challenge is designed to bring together all facets of the community together to follow their city’s progress throughout the month and to use that information to encourage neighbors, businesses, and civic groups to spread the word.
Last year, San Diego was the top-ranked city in the 600,000-and-over population standings. To recognize the city’s efforts for sustainability, the national kickoff took place at the SDG&E Energy Innovation Center in San Diego, one of only 10 double platinum LEED certified locations in the world.
Founded in 1993 by environmental artist Wyland (best known for his series of 100 monumental marine life murals), the Wyland Foundation, a 501c3 non-profit organization, is actively engaged in teaching millions of students around the county about the ocean, rivers, lakes streams, and wetlands.