Hillsborough Mayor Shawn Lipani is joining mayors across the country for the 10th anniversary of the National Mayor’s Challenge for Water Conservation by asking residents to make a long-term commitment to manage water resources more wisely.
The annual challenge, from April 1-30, is a non-profit national community service campaign that encourages leaders to inspire their residents to make a series of simple pledges at mywaterpledge.com to use water more efficiently, reduce pollution and save energy, according to the statement.
The program was started 10 years ago by a handful of mayors who were looking for alternative ways to engage their residents more deeply about the coming water challenges in the United States.
“Water conservation is critical for a sustainable future and Hillsborough remains dedicated to supportive efforts for further education and awareness to initiatives such as this. In 2020 Hillsborough maintained its first place in New Jersey from 2019 and finished 12th in the nationwide challenge,” Lipani said in the statement.
Last year, 4,007 Hillsborough residents pledged to reduce their annual consumption of freshwater by over 16.1 million gallons, reduce waste sent to landfills by 438,000 pounds and eliminate 36,157 of single-use plastic water bottles, and saved $119,810 in consumer costs, according to the statement.
The challenge goes beyond short-term issues and looks at the ways water use will affect the future of communities — from how people manage coasts, lakes and rivers to reducing polluted runoff, according to the statement.
“We are encouraging all residents and businesses to take the pledge as well as to open the conversation for additional discussion on ideas for conservation. I also urge my fellow mayors in Somerset County to participate in the challenge,” Lipani said in the statement.
To participate, residents go to mywaterpledge.com, and then make a series of online pledges to conserve water on behalf of Hillsborough. Cities compete in the following population categories: 5,000-29,999 residents, 30,000-99,999 residents, 100,000-299,999 residents, 300,000-599,999 residents, and 600,000-plus residents.
Cities with the highest percentage of residents who take the challenge in their population category have a chance to win $3,000 toward their home utility bills, and hundreds more eco-friendly prizes. In addition, residents can nominate a deserving charity from their city to receive a 2021 Toyota Highlander Hybrid.
The foundation has also created a new digital tool called MyVolunteer Water Project, in support of the program, that gives residents a unique way to do hands-on home, community, and workplace projects year-round in support of their city’s sustainability efforts.
“Help Hillsborough earn bonus points for the 2021 Challenge by visiting www.sustainablehillsborough.com to participate in the new Wyland MyVolunteer Water Project. Join the Sustainable Hillsborough NJ MyVolunteer Water Project Team today to have more opportunities to win thousands of dollars in prizes and possibly even a new Toyota Highlander Hybrid for a deserving charity,” Lipani said in the statement.
The 10th Anniversary National Mayor’s Challenge for Water Conservation is presented by the Wyland Foundation and Toyota, with support from the U.S EPA WaterSense, The Toro Company, National League of Cities, Hobie Surf and Petal.
Founded in 1993 by environmental artist Wyland, the Wyland Foundation is dedicated to promoting, protecting and preserving the world’s ocean, waterways and marine life. The foundation encourages environmental awareness through community events, education programs, and public art projects.
For more information, visit www.wylandfoundation.org
The Sustainable Hillsborough Project was initiated by the Township Committee in 2006. Hillsborough was one of the first 34 pioneer towns to enter into the Sustainable Jersey program in 2009. To date, Hillsborough has achieved nine certifications in 11 years, leading all towns in Somerset County and is the second most certified town in all of New Jersey since the municipal certification program began in 2009, according to the statement.
For more information, visit www.sustainablehillsborough.com