Berkeley Mayor Tom Bates has announced a citywide water conservation challenge with the chance for Berkeley residents to win “fame, appreciation, and a free lunch,” the latter with him and his wife, state Sen. Loni Hancock.
Bates and Hancock issued what they're calling the Bates-Hancock Water Conservation Challenge on Monday. The contest pits Berkeleyan against Berkeleyan in a race to see who can reduce their water usage the most in a two-month billing cycle.
But the challenge might be a little harder than it looks. To win, you have to beat the water conservation numbers posted by Berkeley's First Household.
Bates and Hancock disclosed their own personal water bill, which shows that in the latest billing period they have reduced their water usage by 68.1 percent over the base year we're all being measured against, 2013. The couple's statement from East Bay MUD shows them using 37 gallons a day for the billing period from April 10 to June 9. They used 116 gallons a day for the comparable period in 2013.
Speaking to Berkeleyside Monday, Bates said the conservation competition “could be a good thing” to raise people’s awareness about how their own actions can significantly affect California’s devastating drought.