Thursday, February 23 , 2017, 9:22 am | Fair 51º


Santa Ynez Students Make a ‘Splash’ to Win WaterWise Video Contest

It was a record year for the 2014 WaterWise High School Video Contest with 20 videos submitted from nine high schools across Santa Barbara County, the most participation in the contest’s 15-year history.

The video contest, sponsored annually by the Santa Barbara County Water Agency and partnering water providers from across the county, requires participating students to create 30-second videos about water conservation. This year, videos were centered on the theme “Be water wise outdoors.”

According to Matt Naftaly, manager of the Santa Barbara County Water Agency, “The message these student videos deliver and the wide audience they reach through the web and social media are an invaluable way of raising everyone’s awareness about water conservation, especially during times of drought.”

A student team from Santa Ynez Valley Union High School won first place with their video "News Splash," while second place went to "A Splash of Light" from Pioneer Valley High School in Santa Maria. The third-place winner was "Drought Tolerant Gardening," from Bishop Garcia Diego High School in Santa Barbara.

A People’s Choice Award, which recognizes the video with the most "likes" on the contest’s Facebook page, went to students from Dos Pueblos High School for their video "Double 'O' H2O." In addition, another SYVUHS video, “Try Water Preserving,” was judged to be the top-scoring video among several “Honorable Mentions.”

All together, the 20 submitted videos attracted more than 67,000 views on Facebook and demonstrated how social media can deliver important conservation messages.

In addition to monetary awards issued to each of these five winning schools, this year for the first time, the contest has private-sector sponsors providing a variety of awards directly to the students. Specifically, is issuing each of the first-place students a one-year subscription to’s extensive library of online videos; Aqua-Flo Supply is giving the second-place team gift charge cards totaling $250; Ewing Irrigation is providing the third-place team with gift charge cards worth $150; Samy’s Camera has gift certificates totaling $500 for the People’s Choice winners; and Deckers Outdoor Corp. is providing gift certificates for Teva shoes to the top Honorable Mention team.

The Santa Barbara County Water Agency and local water providers thank all the students who participated in this year’s contest, which included the following high schools: Bishop Garcia Diego, Cabrillo, Dos Pueblos, Dunn, Laguna Blanca, Pioneer Valley, San Marcos, Santa Barbara and Santa Ynez Valley Union. On behalf of those students, the County Water Agency also thanks our private sector sponsors for their generous support. More information on those sponsors can be found at,,, and

To see any of the winning videos from this year’s contest or videos from previous years, please visit the High School Video Contest page by clicking here. Most importantly, please remember to be water wise. Let’s save together!

— Carol Rock is a publicist representing the Santa Barbara County Water Agency.

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