Twenty Years of Saving Water, and It All Started with You.

“Don’t tell us to save water. Show us how.” That was the sentiment of Arizona residents when local cities studied the best messages to use with water conservation outreach. Those were the words behind the internationally recognized brand of the Water – Use It Wisely conservation campaign.

This fun, colorful and empowering water conservation campaign features “messaging hooks.” These include unexpected, but highly effective water-saving devices, like a toothbrush, broom and irrigation timer. These plus 100+ other devices remind consumers to think about the water they’re using when they come across the items in everyday life. Water-saving device #1 is, of course, you!

A Water Conservation Campaign is Born in Arizona

The Water – Use It Wisely campaign was launched in 1999 to promote an ongoing water conservation ethic among Arizona’s rapidly growing population. Campaign History_Lowes-insidePartners include the cities of Mesa, Phoenix, Scottsdale, Tempe, Peoria, Chandler, Glendale, Goodyear, Buckeye, Avondale, Surprise, and Queen Creek. Additional Campaign History Print adpartners include the Arizona Department of Water Resources (ADWR), Arizona Municipal Water Users Association (AMWUA), Global Water Resources, EPCOR Water, Central Arizona Project (CAP) and Central Arizona Groundwater Replenishment District (CAGRD), and Salt River Project (SRP).

Following Arizona’s lead, nearly 400 towns, cities, states, utilities and private and public organizations have adopted the Water – Use It Wisely campaign, making it one of the largest conservation educational outreach programs in the world.

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The private sector has dived in, too. The Home Depot and Lowe’s have featured Water – Use It Wisely months in their stores throughout Arizona. Plus manufacturers like Ewing Irrigation and Landscape Supply, Rain Bird, Fisher&Paykel and Hinz Horticulture have been active sponsors of the campaign.

The vision of the Arizona Partners and their efforts in creating a universal water conservation message has been recognized with a flood of local, regional, national and international awards.

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Crescordia Awards for “Excellence in Environmental Education”
Best Campaign, 2001
Best Educational Booklet, 2002
“100 Ways in 30 Days to Save Water” Retail Promotion, 2003
“Drab to Fab Backyard Rehab” Campaign and Contest, 2017

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Utility Communicators International Award
Best Campaign, 2001
Best Website, 2001
Educational Booklet, 2002
Best Campaign, 2003
Newspaper Ads, 2003
Magazine Ads, 2003

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Telly Award
7 Awards for Excellence in Broadcast Creative and Production

Now, flowing into its second decade of helping young and old alike conserve water, the campaign stays fresh with the rollout of a new website and redesigned campaign materials. We have created Water – Use It Wisely 2.0 to be more resourceful and user-friendly, to help anyone, anywhere use the campaign materials.

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You, too, can become part of the Arizona Water – Use It Wisely coalition. Partners of the regional campaign benefit significantly, as campaign monies are consolidated and used directly to purchase media space or time, bolstering the campaign’s effectiveness. Partners have realized considerable savings of creative development costs, which a separate advertising program would otherwise incur. By acting regionally, the partnership further provides greater marketing possibilities for sponsorship. Through the years, sponsors have included the Arizona Diamondbacks, The Phoenix Coyotes, the Bureau of Reclamation, SRP, Maracay Homes, Wells Fargo and more.


See our 2020 Year-End Summary Report to read about some of our most recent accomplishments or check out our past reports to learn more about the campaign: 

If you are interested in becoming an Arizona partner, contact the Water – Use It Wisely campaign by email.

There are a number of ways to save water, and they all start with you.