Fourth-annual water war among colleges, universities begins

Save water while supporting a favorite college or university by taking the oath. Competition ends Oct. 20. (Graphic courtesy of Utah DNR)

SALT LAKE CITY-- Summer’s winding down, but it’s still hot. Here’s a tip to stay cool – take the H2Oath. The Utah Division of Water Resources (DNR) is holding its fourth annual “H2Oath: Utah’s Water-Wise Pledge” competition among Utah’s colleges and universities.

Everyone is encouraged to start spreading the word and commit to be water-wise – it takes less than 30 seconds to take the oath (less time than it takes to check Instagram). Take the oath at water.utah.gov/H2Oath. The competition runs through Oct. 20.

Also known as the "H2Oath: Water War," the competition raises awareness for water-wise behavior. The school that gets the most students, faculty, alumni and fans to take the online oath, wins a $5,000 grant to be awarded to the department or program most closely related to water conservation.

“We want to see which school has the most water-wise fans and this is a fun way to find out,” said Todd Adams, deputy director of the division. “Utah State has won two-out-of-three years, and I think they’ll win again, but I am definitely biased. Let’s go Aggies!”

“This water war really brings the heat. You don’t want to see your university lose and with football season here, this is another great way to show your fandom and support for your school. Go Utes,” said Marcie Larson, the division’s water efficiency, education and engagement section manager.

Oath takers are asked to commit to nine simple water-wise practices, including watering no more than what the division’s Weekly Lawn Watering Guide recommends, which is posted during the irrigation season on the division’s Facebook page or at https://slowtheflow.org.

Participants also choose their favorite Utah college or university from the following list: Brigham Young University, Dixie State University, Salt Lake Community College, Snow College, Southern Utah University, University of Utah, Utah State University, Utah Valley University, Weber State University or Westminster College.

“Schools can really rack up big numbers by spreading the word through their social media, school newspaper or even announcing it at sporting events,” said Shelby Ericksen, the division’s water conservation coordinator.

“We also encourage school leaders to take the pledge to reduce water use on campus. Come on, T-Birds!”

The division encourages participants to let their friends know via social media when they take the H2Oath, using the hashtags #H2Oath #WaterWar. Participants are also encouraged to tag the school they selected.

For more information, contact Kim Wells, public information officer, at (801) 803-0336 or email kimwells@utah.gov.

Background

The Utah Division of Water Resources launched “H2Oath: Utah’s Water-Wise Pledge” in 2016 to encourage practical and efficient water conservation efforts by families, businesses, cities, government agencies and statewide organizations. Find the oath at water.utah.gov/H2Oath.

The H2Oath is designed to commit individuals and groups to conserve more by following the division’s Weekly Lawn Watering Guide (found on slowtheflow.org, and posted weekly via the division's Facebook and Twitter accounts) throughout the irrigation season.

It also encourages committing to several other water conservation actions. Gov. Gary Herbert showed his support by officially declaring May 10, 2016 "H2Oath: Utah's Water-Wise Pledge Day."

Thousands of people and organizations have taken the H2Oath. The division works to partner with organizations and individuals to conserve water through adherence to the pledge’s commitments. The division encourages people to take the pledge and show support by asking their family, friends, customers, employees and constituents to do the same.

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