Gainesville Joins National Challenge to be “Water Wise”


Gainesville Mayor Lauren Poe is joining mayors across the country in encouraging residents to make the long-term commitment to conserve their water resources more wisely by taking part in the annual Wyland National Mayor’s Challenge for Water Conservation. In return, residents will be registered to 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 help them serve the community.

The annual challenge, held April 1- 30, 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-complete pledges at to use water more efficiently, reduce pollution and save energy. To help spread this water conservation challenge, the City of Gainesville and Gainesville Regional Utilities are teaming up with American Water Works Association, Alachua County Florida, the University of Florida’s Office of Sustainability, Swamp Head Brewery and First Magnitude Brewery. Also, to encourage friendly competition, Gainesville is competing against Newberry, Florida to see which city receives the most pledges.

“Florida has a limited freshwater supply, and future availability depends on conservation,” said Mayor Lauren Poe. “Water conservation is critical to protecting our quality of life as our community grows. So, join me in the National Mayor’s Challenge for Water Conservation and help protect our award-winning drinking water.”

Last year, residents from more than 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 recent 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.

To participate, enter online at and make a series of online pledges to conserve water on behalf of the City of Gainesville. 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 toward home utilities. This year, 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 measures at home.