Do you live in a water wise city?
Photo via iStock.com
This year residents in more than 4,100 cities across the United States took part in the 2016 Wyland National Mayor’s Challenge for Water Conservation by pledging to save over 1.9 billion gallons of water over the next year—including more than 500 million alone simply by reducing food waste.
The annual month-long campaign to promote drought resiliency and water quality ended on April 30 with mayors from 39 states vying to see whose city could be the nation’s most “water wise.”
The cities with the highest percentage of residents making pledges during the campaign included Laguna Beach, Calif.; Andover, Minn.; Ventura, Calif.; Aurora, Colo.; and Boston, Mass.
Overall, residents around the nation, from Anchorage to the Florida Keys, made 404,407 pledges to reduce water waste by more than 1.9 billion gallons — or roughly enough water to fill 2,877 Olympic-sized swimming pools.
The challenge, presented by the Wyland Foundation and Toyota, with support from the U.S EPA, National League of Cities, The Toro Company, Earth Friendly Products (ECOS), and Conserva Irrigation, addresses the growing importance of educating consumers about the many ways they use water — from swapping their lawns out in favor of drought resistant native plants to fixing leaks to looking at how we use water for food and manufacturing.
“The challenge in general was more successful than ever, but this year rather than simply asking people to save water in a conventional way, we wanted them to focus on how we grow, buy, and consume food, so we brought in horticulturists and irrigation experts to show us how to grow water wise edible gardens and top chefs to show us how to make the most out of the food we grow, while using the least water and having the least impact our local water ways,” Steve Creech, vice president of the Wyland Foundation, concluded at the campaign’s end.
Residents from winning cities will be entered into a drawing this month for over $50,000 in water-saving or eco-friendly prizes, including a Grand Prize Toyota Prius, "Greening Your Cleaning" gift baskets from Earth Friendly Products (ECOS), home irrigation equipment from the The Toro Company, EcoFlow Showerheads from Waterpik, Avex water bottles, dimmable LED light bulbs that use 84% less energy, and more. A $1,000 home improvement store shopping spree will also be chosen from among the entire pool of U.S. participants.
In addition to reducing water, challenge participants in 50 states pledged to reduce their use of single-use plastic water bottles by 3.7 million bottles and eliminate 87,000 pounds of hazardous waste from entering watersheds. By altering daily lifestyle choices, pledges also resulted in potentially 42 million fewer pounds in landfills. Potential savings of 12 million gallons of oil, 6.1 billion pounds of carbon dioxide, 126 million kilowatt hours of electricity, and $29 million in consumer cost savings rounded out the final pledge results.
Read more about water saving devices.