Laguna Beach Takes 2nd Place in Water Conservation Challenge
The Wyland Foundation reached out to residents from across the United States in the 2019 Wyland National Mayor’s Challenge for Water Conservation. The month-long campaign to promote water quality and drought resiliency ended on April 30 with mayors from 35 states vying to see whose city could be the nation’s most “water wise.” “Despite a valiant effort, Laguna Beach took second place in its population category with city residents making 8,789 pledges resulting in water savings of 35.4 million gallons,” stated Mayor Bob Whalen. Additional results generated by Laguna Beach pledges resulted in the reduction of 2,064 pounds of hazardous waste from entering watersheds, 903,998 fewer pounds in landfills, and a carbon dioxide reduction of 144.2 million pounds.
Nationwide the Challenge resulted in 740,143 pledges to change behaviors ranging from fixing home leaks to reducing harmful runoff into local rivers and streams. Entrants pledged to save over 3 billion gallons of water over the next year. Additional savings nationwide include the elimination of 8.6 million single-use plastic water bottles; 179,000 pounds of hazardous waste from entering watersheds; 12.9 billion pound reduction in carbon dioxide; and 80 million fewer pounds in landfills. Additionally, pledges were made to save 196 million kilowatt hours of electricity, 22.6 million gallons of oil, and $39.9 million in consumer savings. The cities with the highest percentage of residents making pledges during the campaign were Rexburg, Idaho; Palm Coast, Florida; Athens, Georgia; Tucson, Arizona; and Columbus, Ohio.
Throughout the month of April, residents were encouraged to log onto www.mywaterpledge.com and complete the online Clean Water Pledge, promising to follow a series of efficiency measures for their home, yard, and automobile. Some examples include washing only full loads of laundry, fixing leaky faucets, watering lawns before 8 a.m., keeping cars tuned, walking or biking short distances, and the more fanciful tip “sing shorter songs in the shower.” Cities competed in four regions (West, Midwest, South, and Northeast) according to population: 5,000-30,000 residents, 30,001-100,000 residents, and 100,000-plus residents.
In the state of California alone, nearly 20 percent of all energy consumption goes towards moving, cleaning, and heating water. As it has become increasingly clear, the value of water use efficiency has enormous benefits to local economies, the environment, and even our global climate. In heavily populated drought plagued states the benefits of conservation are incalculable; in water abundant states the energy savings and the environmental benefits are enormous. The bottom line is: water conservation not only benefits every state in the nation – it benefits the entire planet.
The campaign is presented nationally by the Wyland Foundation and presenting partner Toyota, with support from the Toro Company, US EPA, National League of Cities, ECOS Earth Friendly Products, Conserva Irrigation, and Ecosystems , LLC.