Processing Magazine

Cities compete in water conservation challenge

January 17, 2012

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 Hybrid, 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 non-profit competition, March 30-April 30, to see which leaders can best inspire their residents to make a series of informative, easy-to-use online pledges to reduce water and energy usage.

“The mayor''s challenge gives communities a way to come together for one very important reason — the future of our planet,” says famed marine artist Wyland, who piloted the Mayor’s Challenge concept to more than 200 South Florida and Southern California cities in 2009 and 2011. “We see mayors making gentleman''s bets over who will win college football games. Here''s a way for them to take on an even more important challenge in a friendly, competitive way.”

With support from Toyota, US EPA, US Forest Service, NOAA, and eco-conscious companies, mayors nationwide are encouraged to challenge their residents to conserve water, save energy, and reduce pollution on behalf of their city at www.mywaterpledge.com/national throughout the month of April. Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa of Los Angeles and Mayor Peter Carlisle of Honolulu were among the first city officials to accept the challenge. Other mayors are following suit by issuing council resolutions, creating steering committees, and using the city’s “highest” seat to urge their residents to save water, energy, and reduce pollution.

Cities will be divided into four regions (West, Midwest, South and Northeast) and categorized by population (5,000-30,000 residents, 30,001-100,000 residents, 100,000+ residents). Cities with the highest percentage of residents who take the challenge win. Participants in the winning cities will be eligible to win prizes, including Toyota Prius Hybrid vehicles, home water makeover kits, and more. Most importantly, participants will see real results based on simple actions they can do to save water and energy. Residents will 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.