Palm Coast - Palm Coast Mayor Milissa Holland is joining mayors across the country in asking residents to take or renew their pledges to manage water resources more wisely by taking part in the annual National Mayor's Challenge for Water Conservation. This year's "Stop the Drops" campaign runs through the end of April.

In return, residents can win $5,000 toward their home Utility payments, water saving fixtures, and hundreds of other prizes. Plus, one lucky charity will receive a 2018 Toyota RAV4 Hybrid to serve the community.

Please go online at www.mywaterpledge.com between now and April 30 to take the Water Challenge Pledge!

The annual Wyland Mayor's Challenge for Water Conservation during the month of April is a non-profit national community service campaign to see which leaders can best inspire their residents to make a series of informative and easy-to-do online pledge to use water more efficiently, reduce pollution and save energy.

This will be Palm Coast's fourth year to participate in the national competition, and the City was proud to come in 17th in the nation for cities with a population of 30,000-99,999 in 2017.

"Part of our City's vision is to protect the environment and beauty of Palm Coast while conserving natural resources," said Mayor Holland. "Managing our water resources carefully is especially important for us here in Florida because our fresh water supply is limited, and we do go through periods of drought conditions that impact our aquifer."

Last year, residents from over 4,800 cities in all 50 U.S. states pledged to reduce their annual consumption of freshwater by 2.2 billion gallons, reduce waste sent to landfills by 52 million pounds, and prevent more than 114,000 pounds of hazardous waste from entering our watersheds. The Challenge goes beyond drought issues and looks at the ways our water use will affect the future of our communities - from how we grow food to reducing polluted runoff.

Mayor Holland is urging everyone to go online during the month of April to take the National Mayor's Challenge for Water Conservation.

"We like to say Palm Coast is 'Rooted in Nature.' Our entire community is built on those values, and water conservation is a big part of that commitment," she said. "Let's aim to 'Stop the Drops' and be No. 1 in the nation this year!"

To participate, residents enter online at www.mywaterpledge.com and then make a series of online pledges to conserve water on behalf of the City of Palm Coast. Cities compete in the following population categories: (5,000-29,999 residents, 30,000-99,999 residents, 100,000-299,999 residents, 300,000-599,999 residents, and 600,000+ residents). The City of Palm Coast has approximately 85,000 residents.

Cities with the highest percentage of residents who take the Challenge in their population category are entered into drawings for hundreds of eco-friendly prizes, including home improvement gift cards, home irrigation equipment, and the Grand Prize $5,000 Home Utility Bill Payment. The Challenge also gives residents a chance to nominate a deserving charity that would benefit from receiving a 2018 Toyota RAV4 Hybrid, and features additional resources for residents to take their commitment of conservation even further, from regional water and energy resource issues to cost-saving tips at home.

The 7th National Mayor's Challenge for Water Conservation is presented by the Wyland Foundation and Toyota, with support from the U.S EPA WaterSense, The Toro Company, National League of Cities, Conserva Irrigation, and Earth Friendly Products (makers of ECOS).

Founded in 1993 by environmental artist Wyland (best known for his series of 100 monumental marine life murals), the Wyland Foundation is a 501c3 non-profit organization dedicated to promoting, protecting, and preserving the world's ocean, waterways and marine life. The foundation encourages environmental awareness through community events, education programs, and public art projects. Learn more at www.wylandfoundation.org.

All year long, but especially during Water Conservation Month in April, the City provides water conservation information through its Facebook page at www.facebook.com/discoverpalmcoast.

Here are some tips to help Palm Coast residents stop the drops, saving water and money in the process:

  • Turn off the water while you brush your teeth, wash your face, shave, wash dishes or clean the house. The average faucet flows at a rate of 2 gallons per minute.
  • Take a shower instead of a bath – baths use up to 70 gallons of water, whereas a 5-minute shower uses only 10-25 gallons.
  • A running toilet can waste up to 200 gallons of water per day. At 1 drip per second, a faucet can leak 3,000 gallons per year. Repair leaks right away!
  • For washing machines with variable settings, select the minimum amount required per load. Otherwise, wash only full loads.
  • Select native-Florida trees and shrubs that need less watering when landscaping.
  • Install low-flow toilets and showerheads to dramatically reduce your indoor water consumption without reduced performance.
  • Run the dishwasher instead of washing by hand. It uses less hot water and could save you $40 a year.

For more information about the City of Palm Coast's participation in the National Mayor's Challenge for Water Conservation, contact Cindi Lane, Communications & Marketing Manager, at 386-986-3708 or clane@palmcoastgov.com.