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Sixth annual National Mayors Challenge for Water Conservation begins April 1

Mayors across the country will be asking residents to help ensure the sustainability of the nation’s water resources by taking part in the sixth year of a national contest aimed at reducing water waste and pollution.

Presented nationally by the Wyland Foundation and Toyota, the non-profit National Mayor’s Challenge for Water Conservation, April 1-30, is a friendly, community-based competition between cities that encourages residents to make a series of water conservation pledges on behalf of their city online at mywaterpledge.com. Winning cities are those with the highest percentage of residents who take the challenge. Participating residents from those cities are entered to win hundreds of eco-friendly and water-saving prizes, including a 2017 Toyota Prius Prime Plug-in Hybrid vehicle, home irrigation makeovers with Toro water-saving products, home cleaning products from ECOS, and home improvement store gift cards.

The community service campaign was created in 2011 to supplement existing municipal programs for water conservation awareness, promote drought resiliency and healthy watersheds, and reduce stress on aging water infrastructure. Last year, residents from 4,100 cities pledged to reduce water consumption by 1.9 billion gallons — or roughly enough water to fill 2,877 Olympic-size swimming pools. Participating cities for 2017 include Denver, Sacramento, and Tucson.

In association with U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, The Toro Company, National League of Cities, Conserva Irrigation, and Earth Friendly Products (makers of ECOS), the challenge brings communities together to promote the sustainable use of water. Students and teachers can take part in the pledge, too, by visiting www.mywaterpledge.com/kids. Once there, teachers can download lesson plans on water conservation, make pledges on behalf of their class, and enter to win classroom supplies and gift cards for their school.

The 2017 national kickoff will take place from 10 am to 3 pm, Monday, April 3, at the Mall of America in Bloomington, Minnesota. Minnesota will also be the launching pad for the Wyland Foundation’s “Rolling Down the Mississippi Tour,” a monthlong water conservation educational initiative along the Mississippi River watershed.

Cities that would like to participate can call 949-643-7070.

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