In the National Mayor’s Challenge for Water Conservation, Bremerton is leading all U.S. cities with populations between 30,000 and 100,000.
The water challenge, sponsored by the Wyland Foundation, asks people to take a pledge to work for water conservation. Bremerton Mayor Patty Lent has embraced the national competition by talking about it often when she meets with community groups.
To take the pledge and boost your own city’s ranking in the competition, go to www.mywaterpledge.com and fill out a brief form.
Last year, Bremerton came in first among medium-sized cities in Washington state and third among those in the West.
“Water is Bremerton’s remarkable resource,” the mayor said in a news release. “I encourage all Bremerton residents to pledge to learn more about their water and energy use at home. This challenge, which runs through April, is an exciting opportunity to learn about water wise habits as we engage in a friendly competition with other cities across the nation to create a more sustainable environment.”
Kathleen Cahall, Bremerton’s water resources manager, noted that this year’s competition pits all like-sized cities in the country against each other. Last year, the first competition was regional. Now, there are five nationwide population categories instead of three for each region.
Bremerton has not done as much personal outreach on the project as last year, Kathleen told me, but the city has placed messages on city utility bills and in electronic news letters; on BKAT, the community access television station; and with flyers for students to take home at schools within Bremerton’s water service area.
“It really takes no effort for us to be involved,” Kathleen said, “and it is easy for our residents to learn about water-wise habits and pollution-prevention.”
A federal water-quality permit requires the city to do public education, and people can learn from the water challenge, she said.
As an added incentive, the contest awards prizes to random people who take the pledge.
The only other Washington cities currently in the top 10 are Seattle, which is eighth among cities with more than 600,000 people, and Sequim, which is tenth among cities with populations from 5,000 to 30,000.
Port Orchard is 14th among the 5,000-30,000 cities. Poulsbo is 119th and Bainbridge Island is 291st in that same population category.
Cities in Washington that ranked within the top 100 in their own population categories include Lacey, 15th; Bellevue, 19th; Tacoma, 42nd; Spokane, 48th; North Bend, 50th; Vancouver, 53rd; and Bellingham, 62nd.