Yuma Community uses art to address the water crisis

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Yuma Crossing National Heritage Area held a water conservation art contest for children ages 2 and up to raise awareness of water scarcity – 13 Reporting by Vanessa Gongora of On Your Side

YUMA, Ariz. (KYMA, KECY) – The Yuma Crossing National Heritage Area held a water conservation art contest to raise awareness about the endangerment of the Colorado River and Saturday was the first day these pieces were presented during an artistic walk.

Yuma Crossing received over 340 submissions. There were four different age groups with three winners in each.

The age ranges were 2-8, 9-13, 14-18, and 19+.

Sarah Halligan, Yuma Crossing’s marketing and communications specialist, says they thought the art contest would be a great way for kids to get involved and if they start making a difference now, the changes are coming. will be adults.

“You come to this park specifically, you can see the difference between what the river once was versus what it is now and the fact that it’s the most endangered river in the United States, maybe du world, we have to make a difference,” said Halligan. “And if we don’t do it now, we will run out of water resources.”

Halligan says it was great to see the creativity come to life in the artwork and Arizona Western College student Seanna Jo Engel really thought outside the box.

Engel, one of the winners in the 19+ division, says water conservation is important because water is the source of all life and we need to work on better ways to use it and preserve it. preserve.

“My room was dedicated to water catchments that provide water to wildlife and the old design was incredibly awkward. It was all above ground and so they had these huge catchment aprons which were just huge slabs of cement that had water in them, that went down into above ground tanks and so they had to helicopter or transport the water from the Colorado River by trucks or helicopters into the watersheds which then went down into the tanks,” says Engel. “And those tanks, as I said, are above water and even with the equally troublesome shades that they built, the water evaporated, so they ended up losing a good amount of water and then it scared off the wildlife because there was so much activity and it was just above ground, invasive man-made. »

Engel goes on to explain how the problem can be solved.

“So John Hervert created a new model that’s gravity driven and everything is underwater and so there’s no evaporation because the holding tank is underwater and everything comes from springs. natural waters like washes and such. So it all comes from the wash, gravity pulls into the holding pond and then into where the animals feed on the water,” Engel continues. “So there’s no water loss and the animals have no idea what’s going on. It’s just a natural water source for them.”

She says it’s a much better solution for the animals and for saving water.

“We just need to work on our design plans. I mean the idea is definitely there in both models. It’s just that we need to work on our design and think about the animals, what they think , why it must be so scary for and how we can improve,” says Engel.

Halligan says what she found unique about the artwork is that children between the ages of two and eight, the majority of them between five and eight, understand how to save water in their house.

“You just have to see how they, you know, back home turn off the water when they brush their teeth, take shorter showers,” says Halligan. “These little things may not seem like a lot, but they actually make a difference and for these five to eight year olds to see or notice that is huge. So it’s already having an impact on their lives.”

Yuma Crossing will showcase the artwork until September 3.

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