US Mayor Article

Houston Builds on Water Education Program

May 29, 2000

"WET in the City," a water conservation education program sponsored by the City of Houston’s Water Conservation Program, the Environmental Institute of Houston and the Council for Environmental Education, is designed to help Houston’s teachers learn about urban water issues. It is the newest addition to a major City-wide water conservation initiative launched earlier this month by Houston Mayor Lee P. Brown – an effort which includes the designation of May as Water Conservation Awareness Month, an annual "Design-a-T-Shirt" contest, and an annual two-day Water Festival at the Houston Zoo which serves as the kick-off event for the month’s special conservation awareness activities.

Houston is the first city in the nation to implement "WET in the City," a program which the Council for Environmental Education hopes to establish in all major urban centers. Speaking at the May 5 Water Festival, Mayor Brown said it is through partnerships with organizations such as the Council and with the City’s corporate sector that "we will achieve our goals of educating our citizens about conserving and protecting our natural resources."

The Festival, which is sponsored by the Water Conservation Program, a part of the City’s Department of Public Works and Engineering, alerts visitors to the importance of good water conservation habits and educates them on how to avoid polluting lakes, streams and other water sources. During the event, more than 25 environmental groups, 100 professionals in water-related fields and several City departments exhibit and distribute materials on the water treatment process, leak detection, landscape and irrigation, and other pertinent topics. The City’s April water bills contained coupons for free admittance to the events at the Zoo for two children and an accompanying adult. One of the many Festival attractions for children is the "Running Toilet," the City’s water conservation mascot.

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