Mayor Barbara Bynum is joining mayors across the country in asking residents to make a long-term commitment to manage water resources more wisely by taking part in the 2020 Wyland National Mayor's Challenge for Water Conservation.
This year more than $50,000 in prizes will be awarded to residents who make the commitment to conserve water.
The annual challenge, held Aug.1 - 31, is a non-profit national community service campaign to see which leaders can best inspire their residents to take informative, online pledges at mywaterpledge.com to use water more efficiently, reduce pollution, and save energy. August is also National Water Quality month in the United States. The online pledge at mywaterpledge.com takes less than one-minute to complete.
Last year, the City of Montrose finished sixth in the country out of all of the communities participating in the water challenge. Montrose finished behind fifth-placed Windsor, Colorado, in the 5,000 - 29,999 population category. The communities with the highest percentage of residents participating in the challenge are ranked in the top 10.
Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Wyland Foundation is launching the MyVolunteer component of the challenge, which offers residents the opportunity to participate in the challenge safely from their home with hands-on, do-it-yourself projects around the house and in the community that protects, preserve, and beautifies our environment.
These projects can be done individually or with family members as well as with virtual groups of friends, colleagues, and other social groups. All activities earn points for Montrose's participation in the challenge.
Montrose area residents are encouraged to participate in the annual water conservation drive aimed at raising awareness, curbing excessive water use, and reducing the amount of hazardous waste entering watersheds and landfills.
"Since Montrose's founding in the arid landscapes of the Uncompahgre Valley, our residents have respected and conserved water as one of our most precious natural resources," Bynum said.
"The lifestyle we enjoy today is a result of forward-thinking and trail-blazing workers who planned and built canals, pipelines, reservoirs, and tunnels to store and deliver the water that quenches our thirst, grows our produce, beautifies our community, and supports a vast number of western Colorado's recreational delights. Please join me in the Mayor's Water Challenge to renew our commitment to preserving this resource that is vital to our region and our world."
Additional results generated by Montrose pledges in 2019 included a reduction in the amount of hazardous waste entering watersheds (308 pounds) and household waste ending up at the local landfill (144,209 fewer pounds), with a carbon dioxide reduction of 22.7 million pounds.
Cities with the highest percentage of residents who take the challenge in their population category win. Residents can win $3,000 toward their home utility bills and hundreds more eco-friendly prizes, including Toro Irrigation Smart Controllers, ECOS home cleaning products, and home water fixture retrofits from EcoSystems Inc. In addition, residents can nominate a deserving charity from their city to receive a 2020 Toyota Highlander Hybrid. Students and teachers are encouraged to take part as well.
This year the City of Montrose is giving away a Geyser portable shower system designed to run on a single gallon of water to one lucky Montrose area resident who completes the pledge.
Geyser Technologies who manufactures the shower system in Montrose, uses 10 times less water and is two times lighter than any other portable shower systems on the market.
The challenge features additional resources for residents to take their commitment of conservation even further, from regional water and energy resource issues to cost-saving tips at home. Toyota is the presenting partner to this year's challenge and additional partners include the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, the National League of Cities, The Toro Company, and more.
The Wyland Foundation was founded in 1993 by environmental artist Wyland (best known for his series of 100 monumental marine life murals), and is dedicated to promoting, protecting, and preserving the world’s oceans, waterways, and marine life. The foundation encourages environmental awareness through community events, education programs, and public art projects. Visit www.wylandfoundation.org for more information.