Our easy access to clean water here in the United States is often an overlooked luxury.  Simply turn on the tap and let the endless supply of water flow.  But, in reality, we don’t have an endless supply of clean water and so water conservation measures are important.  Thanks to a partnership between Toyota and Wyland, communities across the nation are pledging to reduce water use as part of the second annual National Mayor’s Challenge for Water Conservation.

Although today is the final day of the contest, which began on April 1, it is not too late to make a pledge.  Simply log on to MyWaterPledge.com, enter your city and state and then begin the pledge-making process.  Today, I pledged to:

  • Take shorter showers and use low-flow devices, and turn off the tap
  • Wash only full loads of laundry and dishes
  • Power down to save electricity
  • Sweep instead of hose
  • Recycle and properly dispose waste
  • Pick up my pet's poop (because I have a new puppy!)
  • And more…
The water conservation pledges focus on key areas including your house, your yard, your community and your life.  It only took me a few minutes and my pledge was complete.  My city, Chandler, Ariz., is currently ranked 86th place among cities of a similar size that are participating in this year's challenge.  It looks like we need to do a better job of getting the message out in our community next year.

I asked Atlanta Mayor Kasim Reed why he is participating in the challenge and he explained, “Atlanta is committed to conserving our resources and to the mission of sustainability that is inherent in this pledge. I will take the pledge myself, and I encourage Atlantans to do so as well. As a City that has spent billions of dollars to overhaul an aging water and sewer infrastructure, Atlanta is keenly aware of the critical nature of our systems and the responsibility to protect our water sources. We take this pledge for both environmental and financial reasons. Conservation doesn’t just save water; it also saves money.”

I’m sure a little healthy competition with other Mayors draws participants to the challenge, as well.  Steve Creech, executive director of the Wyland Foundation, explains the competitive nature of the challenge.

“A big part of the National Mayor's Challenge for Water Conservation was to educate people through a competitive program that was not unlike what we see in sports, with daily participant standings. Get people involved through the competitive aspects, make the campaign simple and accessible and rewarding, then provide people with opportunities and resources to take their learning further.”

The Wyland Foundation has certainly done a great job meeting these goals.  It only took me a few minutes to complete my pledge and there are a plethora of educational resources available on the organization’s website.  So, what are you waiting for?  Head on over to MyWaterPledge.com and pledge; its not too late to participate in this year’s challenge but you have to enter your pledge today.

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