Last October, Water – Use It Wisely invited Arizonans to join us in reflecting on one of our region’s most precious resources – water – by participating in our first-ever Celebrate AZ Water photo contest. We received over 100 original images, taken by amateur and professional photographers alike, each of which uniquely captures the importance and wonder of water in our state.

From raging streams and serene lakes, to teary raindrops and even sparkling snow, Arizonans snapped water in a surprising number of enchanting forms. Our friendly photogs traversed natural areas, parks, farmlands, dams and backyards, and even sought us out on social media. In just three short months, the span of the contest, Water – Use It Wisely made 166 new Facebook friends and gained 343 new followers on Twitter.

The winning photo, taken by James Thomas Dudrow, was a shot of the lower Salt River, “an urban oasis [lying] just outside of the sprawl of Phoenix. Providing recreational opportunities and drinking water for the metro area, the Salt River has provided the valley of the sun a chance to flourish for centuries.” James later wrote on his Facebook page, “I’ve recently moved to the state of Arizona to pursue my dream of shooting western landscapes and wildlife. Having grown up in Colorado and exploring the Wild West, I’m dedicated to capturing the land I grew to love and respect when I was kid.” Looks like he’s off to a great start. Congratulations again, James!

Thanks to all who shared their photos, creativity and enthusiasm with us at Water – Use It Wisely. As Arizona residents, we especially can recognize the value of our water supply, and the importance of conserving it.

Fortunately, as we at Water – Use it Wisely say, there are a number of ways to save water, and they all start with you. Explore our web pages to check out more water conservation and water-wise landscaping tips, and to view our gallery featuring all 127 photo submissions, click here.

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Here are the twelve finalists selected from the submittals in no particular order. See the photos in greater detail at our Celebrate AZ Water gallery. From left to right:

Top Row: Bill C., Page | Valerie M., Oak Creek Canyon | Cassandra L., Sedona | Chris V., Payson | Calie W., Chandler.

Middle Row: Doru S., Crescent Lake – White Mountains | J.T. D., Lower Salt River

Bottom Row: Paul H., Lower Salt River | Lou O., Salt River – South of Saguaro Lake | Dayna M., Havasu Creek | Darla R., Lake Pleasant | Chad H., John’s Dam – Jacobson Creek

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