Twelve cities were recognized in this year's National Mayor's Challenge for Water Conservation, a free, online competition to conserve water during the month of April. The prize honors town leaders who were best able to inspire their residents to practice water conservation.
The campaign was created by carmaker Toyota and the Wyland Foundation, a non-profit organization, dedicated to promoting, protecting, and preserving the world’s oceans, waterways, and marine life.
"We had two goals for the National Mayor's Challenge," said Wyland, artist and founder of the Wyland Foundation. "It brings communities together and gets people thinking about simple ways to take their commitment to conservation even further."
The competition divided the 1,000 participating cities into four regions – West, Midwest, South and Northeast – and categorized them by population. According to the Wyland Foundation, last year's water conservation competition resulted in over 897 million gallons of water saved, 184,095 pounds of trash kept from landfills and nearly 28 million pounds of CO2 emissions reduced in Southern California alone.
In addition to the winners of the competition, there are several communities and companies across the country focusing on water conservation efforts. Community members from Nelson County, Virginia, participated in a rain barrel workshop on April 21 to learn about the benefits of using rain barrels. In April, Coca-Cola partnered with River Network to donate more than 1,000 of the company's syrup drums to reuse as rain barrels to communities across the United States in celebration of Earth Day.