Thanks to Jessica Azani, a Calabasas sixth-grader, Bay Laurel Elementary School has been deemed keeper of the bowl.
The bowl, a Waterford crystal trophy, is given annually by the Las Virgenes Municipal Water District to the school whose student wins its annual water awareness poster contest. With a message taken to heart in this arid climate, Jessica won this year with a poster proclaiming, "No Water, No Life!"
Jessica and nine other finalists in the poster contest were honored at a ceremony Tuesday.
The winning artwork depicted a life-giving fountain, filled with fish and frogs and flanked by children and birds, said Arlene Post, a water district spokeswoman. Now a student at Lindero Canyon Middle School, Jessica created the poster last spring as a fifth-grader at Bay Laurel.
In the dry heat of Southern California, water conservation is considered so critical that some schools teach it as part of the curriculum. In the Las Virgenes Unified School District, children in elementary schools learn conservation tips such as wetting their toothbrushes and then turning off the water while brushing.
"We're working to build a water-savvy population," Post said. In the meantime, though, Jessica's triumph has whisked the bowl away from Willow Elementary School in Agoura Hills, where the trophy was proudly displayed for three years in its main office.
Willow Principal Brent Noyes bemoaned the loss of the treasured symbol of water awareness, vowing to get it back.
"This is our challenge now," he said bravely, "to regain the bowl."