Getting creative with conservation

Students raise awareness of water shortage with art

Five Midpeninsula students are being recognized for their entries in a water conservation-themed art contest hosted by the Santa Clara Valley Water District.

The teens -- two from Palo Alto High School, one from Mountain View High School and two from Castilleja School -- were selected as first- and second-prize winners in the water district's first youth media contest, which was organized in an effort to "get the younger generation to think about sustainability of water and to help them adopt and promote a water-efficient lifestyle," according to Marty Grimes, a spokesman for the water district.

The contest, which ran from April to May, called for local teens and young adults to submit both posters and videos promoting water conservation, using talking points and information pulled from the Santa Clara Valley Water District's "Save 20 Gallons" campaign. The district took submissions from two age groups, a 14- to 18-year-old group and an 19- to 24-year-old group. In total, the district received 38 posters and five videos, which were judged by a panel of multimedia professionals and water district staff.

In the younger age bracket of the poster category, first place went to Paly student Nick Sundermeyer, for his piece, titled "Water=Life." Second place in the same age bracket and category went to David Tayeri, also from Paly, for his creation, "Running Out."

A video titled "Ripple Effect," created by Rachel Lee of Mountain View High School, took first place in the younger age bracket. The second-place video in the younger age bracket was co-produced by a pair of Castelleja students -- Sarah Shader and Lindsey Segal.

While district officials had hoped for more video submissions, Grimes said, the board was pleased with the number of poster entries. Furthermore, he added, the amount of effort shown by those who did participate was inspiring.

"It's encouraging to see the energy that the young people exhibited in developing their entries and their interest in being a part of the call for water conservation," Grimes said.

According to Grimes, officials with the district wanted to encourage local teens and young adults to think creatively about water use and conservation.

"Water is going to be a challenge in California in future decades," he said. "These are the youth that are going to have to deal with these challenges."

The winners are to be recognized at the water district's board of directors meeting this evening, June 24, at 6 p.m.

View the winning posters in the photo gallery above. Go to the Santa Clara Valley Water District's website to watch the winning videos.


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