Separated into five population categories, the winning cities were:
- Denver, Colorado
- Tucson, Arizona
- West Balm Beach, Florida
- Bremerton, Washington
- Laguna Beach, California
Residents in all 50 states made more than 44,000 online pledges to save water, use less energy and reduce pollution in four categories – home, yard, community and life – with potential cost savings of more than $30.6 million. City leaders encouraged their residents to participate in the online challenge, which also provided access to regional water and energy resources along with cost-saving tips, part of a National Mayor’s Challenge for Water Conservation presented by Wyland Foundation and Toyota, in which 70 mayors across the nation participated.
In addition to making water-saving pledges, challenge participants pledged to reduce their use of single-use plastic water bottles by more than 5.4 million bottles and eliminate 69.9 million pounds of hazardous waste from entering watersheds. By altering daily lifestyle choices, pledges also resulted in potentially 18.3 million fewer pounds in landfills and 2.2 million fewer pounds of fertilizer in the waste stream. Potential savings of 67.8 million gallons of oil and 2.7 billion pounds of carbon dioxide rounded out the final pledge results.
At a May 10 event in Denver, prizes will be drawn, including a grand prize winner of a new Prius c from the pool of winning cities’ participants, who are also eligible to win hundreds of water-saving fixtures and gift certificates to Lowe’s stores. A $1,000 Lowe’s Shopping Spree will also be chosen from among the entire pool of U.S. participants. The National League of Cities, CH2M Hill WaterMatch, Rain Bird Corporation, Lowe’s home improvement stores, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) WaterSense, and the U.S. Forest Service supported the challenge too. The additional support from well-known comedians through Comics for Conservation, a series of public service announcements, expanded this year’s environmental message. Pete Dominick , longtime SiriusXM host, stand-up comic and CNN contributor, was the official spokesperson.
Toyota’s partnership with the Wyland Foundation and the Mayor’s Challenge included a new element this year – an eight-state U.S. environmental educational tour to schools and communities, reaching 4,000 students. The mobile, 1,000-square foot Wyland Clean Water Mobile Learning Experience featured interactive exhibits to demonstrate the relationships between humans and water.