DENVER — CH2M HILL WaterMatch partnered with Wyland Foundation on the National Mayor’s Challenge for Water Conservation to promote resource conservation and the importance of sustainability during Earth Month in April. Five U.S. cities were honored for residents’ commitment to water-saving choices. Separated into five population categories, the winning cities are Denver; Tucson, Ariz.; West Palm Beach, Fla.; Bremerton, Wash.; and Laguna Beach, Calif. Residents in all 50 states made more than 44,000 online pledges to save water, use less energy and reduce pollution in four categories — home, yard, community and life — with potential cost savings of more than $30.6 million.
Presented nationally by Wyland Foundation, the second annual National Mayor’s Challenge had participation from 70 mayors across the U.S., including Denver Mayor Michael B. Hancock; D.C. Mayor Vincent C. Gray; Columbus, Ohio Mayor Michael B. Coleman; Seattle Mayor Mike McGinn; Tucson, Ariz. Mayor Jonathan Rothschild and Santa Fe, N.M. Mayor David Coss. City leaders encouraged their residents to participate in the online challenge, which also provided access to regional water and energy resources along with cost-saving tips.
CH2M HILL WaterMatch was one of those resources. A grassroots, goodwill initiative, WaterMatch is a unique social network connecting water users with water generators to promote the beneficial reuse of municipal effluent (wastewater) by industry and agriculture. During the challenge, residents earned points for their city by pledging to learn where their wastewater goes by visiting WaterMatch and searching the Matching Map. In addition, mayors helped their residents earn more prizes by making sure their local wastewater treatment facility’s information is on the WaterMatch map.
“CH2M HILL is proud to support the National Mayor’s Water Challenge for Water Conservation because we know first-hand that sustainable water and resource management is critical to the future of our global community, economy and environment,” says Lee McIntire, CH2M HILL Chairman and CEO. “Congratulations to the winning cities and to all of the participating mayors and residents who recognize that it takes action by all of us—individuals, organizations and government—to create a more sustainable world.”
At a May 10 event in Denver, Hancock will draw the grand prize winner of a new Prius c from the pool of winning cities’ participants, who are also eligible to win hundreds of environmentally friendly prizes.
“This year’s challenge gathered the support of an impressive list of cities, mayors, corporations and nonprofits, all of whom shared our enthusiasm for working toward a more sustainable future,” said environmental artist Wyland, founder of the Wyland Foundation. “Congratulations to the winning cities. The environmental education and pledges will have an impact in bringing the conversation about conserving resources closer to home.”
New to the challenge this year was the Wyland Clean Water Mobile Learning Experience, a 1,000-square foot interactive exhibit which demonstrates the ways water shapes human lives. The traveling exhibit features interactive models – from an onboard running river to a 40-person theater with computer-controlled special effects – to explore the nation’s complex relationship with its water resources. Since early March the tour has been traveling across the U.S., visiting schools and community events. CH2M HILL employees participated in and volunteered at a number of the events, including in New York City; Washington, DC; Denver; Tucson; and Las Angeles, Calif.
Brad Bettag, a CH2M HILL water resources engineer who spent a morning talking with students when the Mobile Learning Center stopped at DSST Cole Middle School in Denver, commented, “It was great to interact with the DSST Cole students, who asked great questions, were genuinely interested and engaged in the topic at hand, and had ideas about how their actions could make a positive impact both here in Denver and through the entire watershed. CH2M HILL understands the importance of fostering interest in science, technology, engineering and math at an early age to make sure we’re developing the next generation of problem solvers. I wish I had been introduced to water-related issues in such an interactive exhibit format like the Clean Water Mobile Learning Experience as a kid; I probably would have made the decision to become an engineer much sooner.”
The challenge is also supported by Toyota, The National League of Cities, Rain Bird Corporation, Lowe’s home improvement stores, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) WaterSense, and the U.S. Forest Service.
To learn where your wastewater goes and how industry and municipalities can connect to reuse more water visit www.ch2mhill.com/watermatch.