Who doesn’t like a little friendly competition? I know that adding a competitive aspect to an activity certainly motivates me to participate more actively, so of course I love the merger of competition with water conservation efforts. The National Mayor’s Challenge for Water Conservation does just this — encourages people to reduce their water use and provides an incentive for the cities that have the highest participation rates. In this case, the incentive includes a new Toyota Prius Hybrid.


The challenge starts on March 30, 2012, and runs for a full month, ending on April 30. The competition is structured into four different regions — West, Midwest, South and Northeast — and is further categorized by population. Communities with 5,000 to 30,000 residents will compete against one another as will cities with 30,001 to 100,000 residents and cities with 100,000+ residents.


In addition to the Toyota Prius Hybrid, other prizes up for grabs include a new Rain Bird sprinkler system, Eco-Flow showerheads from WaterPik, Sterling water-saving toilets and Lowe’s gift cards.


This is an important and timely challenge for several reasons. This year marks the 40th anniversary of the Clean Water Act, the United Nations’ World Water Day is March 22 and recent reports have predicted that water prices will drastically rise in the coming years.


According to a new report from the American Water Works Association, water infrastructure projects are expected to top $1 trillion by 2035, and these upgrades are going to be largely funded through an increase in household water bills.


If we, as consumers, can start working on personal water conservation efforts today, then the higher water bills of the future may not have as much of an impact on our monthly budgets. This is just an added benefit of participating in the challenge.


The good news is that participating in the program is easy — residents simply visit the National Mayor’s Challenge for Water Conservation website on March 30 to register for the program. City mayors will need to sign an online letter of support and should call 949-643-7070 for more information.

How about a little friendly water conservation competition?
The National Mayor's Challenge for Water Conservation pits residents of cities across the nation against each other in a water-reduction contest.