Charlottesville water conservation campaign kicks off

Efforts coincides with national push

nswaterconservationcourtesynewsplex

Volunteers drew artwork on the wall depicting activities which use water every day.

The City of Charlottesville began the campaign “Imagine a Day Without Water” Tuesday as part of a nationwide campaign to conserve water.

The campaign spans Oct. 6 to 8 and strives to bring attention to water conservation and the simple acts people can take to conserve water. The event Tuesday kicked off the “Imagine a Day Without Water” art competition for students in first through eighth grade.

One hundred organizations across the country have participated in the campaign.

The city worked in association with the Rivanna Water and Sewer Authority and the Albemarle County Service Authority to organize the events.

Danielle Trent, an administrative associate at the Albemarle County Service Authority, said awareness is one of the most important factors in water conservation.

“There are so many things we do blindly without thinking about it,” Trent said. “We never stop to think about water as being one of those more precious resources.”

Tuesday’s event took place on the Downtown Mall at the Free Speech Wall outside of City Hall. Volunteers drew artwork on the wall depicting activities which use water every day. Organizations gave out gifts and distributed information about how to conserve water.

The Albemarle County Service Authority distributed forms for rebates on low flow toilets and rain barrels to encourage people to make efforts to conserve water. They also handed out bracelets and coloring books for children. The City of Charlottesville passed out sink aerators which help conserve water in kitchens and bathrooms.

The event started a conversation about water conservation in the community, said Director of Public Utilities Lauren Hildebrand.

“We had a lot of people interested in it, as well as good comments during the event,” Hildebrand said.

The event gave people a chance to understand the effort that goes into getting the water supply to people’s homes, Hildebrand said.

“All most people have to do is turn their tap and water automatically comes out,” Hildebrand said. “They don’t realize all that is involved in the background with all the people who work to make water clean, safe and affordable so that they have that resource.”

It is too soon to comment on whether the event will be repeated next year, Hildebrand said, but the city will start to reflect on the event after the art competition comes to a close in the next four weeks.

The art competition is an important piece of the “Imagine a Day Without Water” campaign, Trent said.

“We can get children at a young age to start thinking about conserving water and then that will carry on with them through adulthood and will be passed on,” Trent said.

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