Tag Archives: water conservation

Bremerton tops other cities in water competition

UPDATE, Friday, 4-3-2013, 12:55 p.m.
It appears that Bremerton was the only Washington city to make it into the top 10 in any of the population categories, according to the final list. (PDF 127 kb).

Bremerton residents pushed their city into the top spot among hundreds of cities competing in the National Mayor’s Challenge for Water Conservation.


Residents from cities across the country were asked to “take the pledge” and do things to save water around their house. Bremerton took first place among cities with populations from 30,000 to 100,000.

I don’t believe any other city in Washington state made it into the top 10 for their populations, although Seattle came close. We may know more later today, when the winners are announced on the website My Water Pledge.

“Water is Bremerton’s remarkable resource,” said Mayor Patty Lent in a news release (PDF 53 kb). “I appreciate the support of our residents during this contest and encourage everyone to learn more about their water and energy use at home. This contest was a fun opportunity to learn about water-wise habits and create a more sustainable environment.”

By being from one of the five winning cities, Bremerton residents will be eligible for hundreds of prizes to be awarded in the competition, sponsored by the nonprofit Wyland Foundation. Prizes include a Toyota Prius, custom-designed lawn sprinkler systems, low-flow shower heads and Lowe’s gift cards. Anyone who submitted a pledge will be eligible for a separate drawing for a $1,000 shopping spree at Lowe’s.

“The Mayor’s Challenge highlights the impact of each person’s environmental efforts,” said Water Resources Manager Kathleen Cahall in the news release. “The city’s prize for participating in this contest is increased awareness about the importance of our water resources.”

Last year, the first year of competition, Bremerton finished in the top spot among medium-sized cities in Washington and third among cities in the West.

Amusing Monday: Film contest raises water issues

Rain Bird’s “Intelligent Use of Water” Film Competition has become one of my favorite water-focused events for “Amusing Monday.”

Winners of the contest were announced a couple weeks ago in Beverly Hills. The Audience Choice Award, “The Wash,” is featured in the player at right. It was the most amusing among the six finalists, but I have to say I enjoyed all the films this year.

The Jury Award, chosen by a six-member panel, was presented to a serious documentary called “Isla Urbana,” which examined a new way of bringing water to the residents of Mexico City.

The Jury Award winner, Greg Harriott of Brooklyn, N.Y., received a $10,000 prize. The winner of the Audience Award, Carla Dauden of Long Beach, Calif., took home $5,000.

The host of the awards ceremony was Jack Hanna, former director of the Columbus Zoo and Aquarium and host of the new television program “Wild Countdown” seen Saturday mornings on the ABC network.

All the 2012 finalists can be seen on Rain Bird’s website, along with finalists from past years.
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Amusing Monday: Weirdo watches your water use

A new water-conservation message has been invented for a national public service campaign launched last week. The message is this: “Wasting water is weird.”

Three public service announcements, which need little explanation from me, were created by the Shelton Group, an advertising and marketing company specializing in sustainability issues.

In addition to the one at right, there are these:

Wasting Water is Weird: Bathroom

Wasting Water is Weird: Car Wash

A survey by the agency reportedly found that 69 percent of Americans believe it is important to personally reduce water consumption, but fewer than half have given up tub baths or are taking shorter showers.

Suzanne Shelton, who heads the Shelton Group, said human psychology shows that, when it comes to conservation, “don’t waste” messages affect people more than “save” messages. Getting through to people on an emotional level is a goal of the campaign. Shelton explains further:

“Our consumer surveys show Americans talk a good game about water conservation but take very little action. We’ve found you cannot just tell people they have to stop using water or try to put a positive spin on making a sacrifice. And guilting them into making a change by throwing dire realities at them doesn’t work. This campaign helps consumers make the shift from an automatic behavior to a conscious choice.”

The weird character in the videos is named Rip the Drip. The actor is not identified. But who would want this guy popping up and becoming your friend when you let the water run too long?

The campaign, sponsored by Bosch, Kohler, Lowe’s and Proctor and Gamble, is affiliated with a new website that contains conservation information, as well as screen savers and ring tones featuring Rip the Drip.

EPA asks: How do you conserve water?

The Environmental Protection Agency runs a blog called Greenversations. This week, the question being asked is: How do you conserve water?

Posted this morning, the question already has generated responses from 43 people. Some of the ideas are old hat among water conservers — such as turning off the tap while brushing your teeth.

A few responses were quite detailed and show years of working on the goal of saving water. For example, here’s the one from Marianna:

We adhere to the toilet motto “If it’s yellow let it mellow, if it’s brown flush it down”.
Until hot water comes out of the tap we save the cold water to flush the toilets with.
I use gray water generated in the kitchen during the growing season to water my gardens.
We don’t wash our cars!
We reduce our yard irrigation to the bare minimum to keep the grass alive.
I’ve converted a good part of the lawn to gardens that require a lot less water.
I’ve put nearly all of my vegetable & flower gardens on drip irrigation.
I save scarce rainwater that runs off of the roof by installing gutters and putting several rain barrels in place.

To sum: to us water is a precious, not-to-be-wasted resource, just like gasoline or firewood!

I’m sure readers of this blog have some good ideas. Post them on the EPA’s blog and add them as a comment here if you would.

By the way, one idea is to fix leaky pipes, both in your home and in your city’s water system. Each day, 6 billion gallons of clean, treated drinking water disappears — mostly due to old, leaky pipes and mains, according to a report from the American Society of Civil Engineers. That’s “enough water to serve the population of a state the size of California.”

See a story in the Seattle Daily Journal of Commerce about acoustic technology used to identify leaks before they occur. Reducing leaks in water mains is one of the requirements of Washington’s Municipal Water Law.