CH2M HILL WaterMatch is proud to partner with Wyland Foundation on the National Mayor’s Challenge for Water Conservation to promote resource conservation

By Kate Peabody, CH2M HILL Communications Strategist

In our continued efforts to raise awareness of the value of water and promote conservation at the grassroots level, CH2M HILL WaterMatch is proud to partner 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. We are happy to congratulate the five U.S. cities who were honored today for residents’ commitment to water-saving choices. Separated into five population categories, the winning cities are Denver, Colo.; 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!

These are impressive results, and it was great to see 70 mayors from across the U.S. participating in the challenge, 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.  As you may have heard us mention before, currently the United States only reuses 14% of its water supply—we can do a lot better! With that in mind and to tie the Challenge to the WaterMatch mission—to promote the beneficial reuse of municipal effluent and make the most of our water resources—residents earned points for their city by pledging to learn where their wastewater goes by visiting WaterMatch and searching the Matching Map. Mayors were asked to sign a conservation pledge as well as help their residents earn extra prizes by making sure their local wastewater treatment facilities’ information is on the WaterMatch map.

At a May 10 event in Denver, we will join Mayor Hancock as he draws 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.

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 joined a number of our clients to participate in and volunteer at a number of the events, including in New York City; Washington, DC; Denver; Tucson; and Las Angeles, Calif. We’d like to send a big thank you to the US EPA, Denver Water, New York Department of Environmental Protection, Tucson Water, DC Water, the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power, and many others, for joining us in our local communities to make a difference.

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.”

CH2M HILL knows first-hand that sustainable water and resource management is critical to the future of our global community, economy and environment, and it was great to see so many employees, clients, friends and family members embrace the Challenge. 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!

WaterMatch has more than 21,000 new water resources mapped in 42 countries and growing. Is your wastewater facility on the Matching Map? Let us know if it isn’t! Join us and help make matches happen. Because no water should be wasted.

Kate Peabody is a marketing and communications strategist for the CH2M HILL Global Water Business based in Englewood, CO, working on social media, public relations, brand and marketing, and internal communications. Kate is responsible for communications for strategic initiatives like WaterMatch, and runs the CH2M HILL Access Water blog. She has a bachelor’s in communication from Santa Clara University and a MBA in environmental policy and management from the University of Denver.