Laguna Beach’s vow to cut water use pushes city to head of its class

Laguna Beach takes water conservation seriously.

The city was one of five in the country to win its respective division in the sixth annual Wyland National Mayor's Challenge for Water Conservation, according to the Wyland Foundation website.

Laguna Beach residents made 6,286 pledges to cut water use by 32.6 million gallons of water over the next year, according to a Laguna Beach County Water District news release issued last week.

Laguna finished ahead of Archbald, Pa., for cities with populations of 5,000 to 29,999 during the competition from April 1 through 30th.

“Laguna Beach cares about our water,” Mayor Toni Iseman said in the release. “We recognize that water is a finite resource, thus conservation has become a way of life.”

In addition to Laguna, cities with the highest percentage of residents making pledges included Flagstaff, Ariz., Athens, Ga., Aurora, Colo., and Dallas. Overall, residents throughout the U.S. made 421,891 pledges to change behaviors ranging from fixing home leaks to reducing harmful runoff into local rivers and streams.

“This year's challenge took a hard look at things we can all do to reduce our impact on our lakes, rivers, streams and wetlands,” marine life artist Wyland said in the release. “The more we can do to reduce harmful runoff into our water systems, the more we can provide long-term sustainable benefits to our communities.”

Residents from winning cities will be entered into a drawing for more than $50,000 in water-saving or eco-friendly prizes, including the grand prize, a 2017 Toyota Prius Prime Plug-in Hybrid.

Laguna was the only Orange County city to finish in the top 10 in the five population categories.

In addition to reducing water, challenge participants in 50 states pledged to reduce the use of 4.7 million single-use plastic water bottles and eliminate 114,000 pounds of hazardous waste from entering watersheds.

bryce.alderton@latimes.com

Twitter: @AldertonBryce

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