Broward County

Word of water: Broward contest tackles conservation

One lucky South Florida resident will win a new set of water and energy saving appliances this month.

But to take the prize, applicants need to get creative about water conservation.

The Broward Water Partnership, a collaboration of 18 local governments and water utilities, is holding the first “Broward, Mega, Money-Saving, Record-Breaking, Wild Water Switcheroo Contest” to encourage water conservation. The winner will get new appliances including a refrigerator, washer, dryer, dishwasher, irrigation system and water-conserving plumbing fixtures for the kitchen and bath.

“We were very interested in doing something that would elevate in a very significant way the conversation about water conservation,” said Jennifer Jurado, director of the environmental planning and community resilience division for Broward County.

The competition runs through March and anyone who lives in a Broward Water Partnership community — which includes Hollywood, Pembroke Pines, Fort Lauderdale and Miramar — can apply. The winner will be announced by Earth Day, April 22.

To apply, people are asked to submit a piece about why water conservation matters. They can submit their application in any form they want including: a poem, a poster, an illustration. There will also be a Facebook, Twitter and YouTube contest and each each winner will get a cash prize. Entries will be judged on clarity, creativity and on point messages.

“The creative element is a very significant piece,” Jurado said. “It’s really a creative story about why it’s important and why they should win. It needs to be somewhat engaging and really captivate the viewers.”

Jurado said the group had received about 100 applications as of Monday, but she expects more to come in the next few weeks. The contest website has gotten thousands of views, she said.

The contest is part of the ConservationPays.com initiative, which educates, engages and supports Broward residents and businesses in their water conservation efforts.

The goal of the competition is to show that water and energy saving appliances can save money while also protecting the environment. And a smart irrigation system can save a lot of water — and in turn, a lot of money.

The competition is meant to “remind the community that water conservation is an active aspect of what we need to be doing in our lives, our individual practices, our business practices.” The website also gives suggestions for how people can conserve water, including running full loads of laundry, taking shorter showers and turning the water off while brushing teeth.

“There are these minor things you can do in your home that collectively have this tremendous impact,” Jurado said.

Jurado said the group has already received positive feedback.

“Its been so successful already in terms of the conversation about the importance of water conservation,” she said. “I think it really has the makings of being part of a recurring competition.”

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