Town of Hilton Head and water utilities encourage residents to ‘Take the Pledge’ for water conservation

The Town of Hilton Head, Hilton Head PSD, South Island PSD and Broad Creek PSD are working together to encourage residents to take the Wyland National Mayor’s Challenge for Water pledge this summer.

Throughout August, the 9th Annual Mayor’s Challenge for Water asks communities throughout the United States to make small changes that better manage our water resources and improve the health of our ocean, lakes, rivers, streams, and wetlands. 

For Hilton Head Island residents, this is a good time to remember to comply with the Town of Hilton Head ordinances that limit irrigation to two days a week and to use a working rain sensor on all irrigation systems.

“We annually see 40 to 60 percent of our treated drinking water on Hilton Head Island being used for residential landscape irrigation,” said Hilton Head PSD General Manager Pete Nardi. “It’s a paradigm we’d like to start a conversation about shifting.”

“A great way to start is to check out Clemson University Extension Service’s ‘Carolina Yards’ sustainable landscape management program,” Nardi said. “You can learn landscape management principles that help protect our local watershed and provide you with a healthy, stress-free landscape.” 

“Another great resource is the South Carolina Native Plant Society,” he said. “Our native plants generally require less watering and less pesticides and fungicides. South Carolina and the Lowcountry are fortunate to have an abundance of attractive and beneficial native plants.”

This year, the National Mayor’s Challenge for Water campaign offers residents a chance to win $3,000 toward home utility bills, home irrigation makeovers, environmentally friendly cleaning products, and hundreds of dollars more in eco-friendly prizes. 

Additionally, residents can nominate a deserving charity in their city to receive a 2020 new-generation Toyota Highlander Hybrid XLE. Cities with the most residents that make pledges qualify for over $50,000 in prize drawings.

Due to the coronavirus shutdown, this year’s campaign offers opportunities to get involved safely from home — such as making water-friendly lifestyle changes on behalf of their city, undertaking home-based environmental projects that add up to cleaner, safer communities, and sharing tips and strategies with friends and neighbors.

Teachers working remotely are also encouraged to engage their students to take part by accessing a special section of the website to make a series of water-saving commitments with their classes and win classroom supplies and gift cards for their school. 

Last year, mayors from 39 states encouraged residents to make more than 740,000 pledges to promote drought resiliency, protect watersheds, and reduce stress on aging water infrastructure.  

The non-profit campaign, which has included numerous live events, educational tours, and hundreds of city-led activities over the past decade, is presented in association with The Toro Company, EPA WaterSense, National League of Cities, Conserva Irrigation, and Earth Friendly Products (makers of ECOS). The Challenge encourages residents to follow their city’s progress throughout the month and to use that information to encourage friends, neighbors, businesses, and civic groups to get involved.

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