Arizona’s Local Water Conservation Campaign

Guest blog post by Donna DiFrancesco, Conservation Specialist at City of Mesa

“Don’t tell us to save water. Show us how.” That was the sentiment of Arizona residents when local cities studied the best messages to use with water conservation outreach. And what began in 1999 as a joint effort between Mesa, Phoenix and Scottsdale to launch a water conservation campaign is now one of the largest conservation movements of its kind. Today, hundreds of private and public entities throughout North America tap into Water – Use It Wisely. Seventeen valley-wide partners currently fund Arizona’s Regional Campaign coalition. By acting regionally, partners benefit significantly as campaign monies are consolidated and used directly to purchase media space or time, bolstering the campaign’s effectiveness, unifying the message and providing greater marketing possibilities for sponsorship.

Becoming a Water – Use It Wisely Partner

Desert Willow, from the Plant of the Month feature.

Desert Willow, from the Plant of the Month feature.

The campaign is all about giving a voice to water and has developed a variety of ways for companies, non-profits, educators and others to utilize the campaign as a tool to help spread their own unique water conservation message. With that in mind, the campaign has always been open to any entity located in Arizona to become a Water – Use It Wisely Arizona Partner. This distinction is for groups who may not find it possible or practical to fund campaign media, but are still wanting to “join the cause.” The campaign also seeks out partnerships with others, such as local groups and organizations including Local First Arizona, the Phoenix Zoo, the Arizona Nursery Association, the Arizona Landscape Contractors’ Association, and Ewing Irrigation and Landscape Supply.

There are a number of ways to save water and they all start with you!

100+ Tips highlight everyday objects that remind you to save water.

100+ Tips highlight everyday objects that remind you to save water.

The main goal of Water – Use It Wisely messaging is to keep water-saving ideas in the forefront of people’s minds in a smart, fun, easy and practical way for everyone. These include unexpected, but highly effective water-saving devices, like a toothbrush, broom and irrigation timer. These, and 100+ other devices, remind consumers to think about the water they’re using when they come across the items in everyday life. Water-saving device #1 is, of course, you!

Lisa from Avondale won the $8K package to makeover her drab backyard. You should see the before!

Lisa from Avondale won the $8K package to makeover her drab backyard. You should see the before!

Visit www.wateruseitwisely.com where you’ll find the 100+ tips, information on desert landscaping, proper irrigation, Xeriscape, WaterSense labeled products and more! A recent promotion yielded over 10,000 entries to their Drab-to-Fab Backyard Rehab contest. One lucky winner from Avondale received a backyard makeover and the entire install series now resides online. An E-newsletter featuring weekly blogs by industry experts is mailed out to over 13,600 subscribers each month with topics such as Plant-of-the-Month, Celebrate Arizona Water, and new water-saving ideas and technologies. The website also features links to social media outlets such as Facebook (11,400 fans), Twitter (11,000 followers), Pinterest and YouTube channels to maximize outreach efforts.

About Water – Use It Wisely
The Water - Use It Wisely partners include the cities of Mesa, Phoenix, Scottsdale, Tempe, Peoria, Chandler, Glendale, Avondale, Surprise, Queen Creek, and Fountain Hills.  Additional partnering organizations include the Arizona Department of Water Resources, Arizona Municipal Water Users Association, Central Arizona Project, EPCOR Water, Global Water Resources, and Salt River Project