Rialto Mayor Deborah Robertson issued a city-wide challenge to residents to pledge to be water wise during the month of April, as part of a non-profit national service campaign to see which leaders can best inspire their residents to make a series of informative and easy-to-do online pledges to use water more efficiently. Two years ago the City of Rialto came in fifth place on its first try.
The water pledge kickoff event took place at Milor High School on Tuesday, Mar. 26 with local dignitaries, Boyd Elementary, Rialto Middle and Milor High students in attendance. Milor was a fitting location as it was recently awarded the California Green Ribbon Silver Award for its Farm and Garden the second year in a row.
During the event Milor Principal Andres Luna, on behalf of the campus community, pledged to become environmental stewards, to take daily actions that will protect natural resources and make a positive impact on a local, national, and global level.
The Wyland National Mayor’s Challenge for Water Conservation, held each April, is a month-long campaign to promote water conservation and encourage residents to take steps to conserving natural resources.
“We have an obligation to protect this most precious resource that we have here on our planet, not only preserve it, but also to keep it clean,” mentioned Rialto Unified School District Superintendent Dr. Cuauhtémoc Avila.
The school district has taken strides over the last two years in its conservation efforts, Avila said, citing Kelley Elementary has replaced its grass and turf with water resistant landscape.
Avila encouraged the 25,000 students in the district to do their part in conserving one or two gallons a week that will increase local reserves.
Mayor Robertson echoed similar sentiments, encouraging water conservation in daily activities that include shorter showers, shutting off the faucet while brushing teeth and taking advantage of gadgets such as a 5-minute shower timer.
“Water is so essential to everything we do, water is precious,” Mayor Robertson said, dispelling notions that the drought is over. “There’s so much focus on water, and even though you may have heard recently that the drought is over, I will tell you and water officials will tell you, don’t believe the hype.”
San Bernardino Community College District Board of Trustees Clerk Joseph Williams took the opportunity to inform students of the various advanced water technology classes held at the Rialto Resource Center through a partnership with San Bernardino Valley College, and well-paying career options.
“There are a lot of opportunities for you guys to take advantage of if you just express a little bit of interest, ask questions about how to get connected to learn about the information you have,” Williams advised.
Those in attendance raised their hands and joined the Mayor in the pledge:
“As a leader committed to efficient use of natural resources I support the mission of the Mayor’s Challenge for water conservation, a non profit national community service program, and in so doing renew my commitment to sustainability for my city and for future generations.”
West Valley Water District is hosting an Earth Day event on Saturday, Apr. 13 at its location, 855 W. Baseline from 10 a.m. – 1 p.m.; the City’s Earth Fair will be held on Apr. 20. The pledge can be taken online at mywaterpledge.com, or filled out on forms available at city facilities, at various local businesses and community organizations, at the Rialto Water Services offices or at the April 20 Earth Day Fair.