Student Contest Winners Illustrate the Importance of Water-Use Efficiency Through Art During a Time of Pandemic Struggle

Sofia Perez Valles Cover

Student Contest Winners Illustrate the Importance of Water-Use Efficiency Through Art During a Time of Pandemic Struggle

14:51 03 September in News

Six student artists from schools in the Otay Water District’s service area have won Otay’s 2020 Water is Life Student Poster Contest for best demonstrating creativity and awareness of water-use efficiency through their art.

The annual contest is one of many educational programs that the District offers as an opportunity for students to learn and reflect on the importance of water conservation and stewardship. Students are encouraged to create a poster depicting the theme of “water is life,” which relates to using water wisely inside and outside of the home, school, business, community, environment, agriculture, recreation, and more.

In February, about a month before the COVID-19 pandemic shut down most of the world, the District invited students from elementary, middle, and high schools in its service area to participate in the contest. Despite the pandemic forcing many people to work or learn from home, the contest remained open as a stay-at-home activity that students could enjoy.

Originally, the District had planned to select only a first- and second-place winner from each category. Since it did not receive poster entries for its middle school category, the District took the opportunity to award third-place winners from elementary and high school. Prizes included gift cards for the first- and second-place winners from each category. Also, the District recognized all winners from each category with a certificate, art kit, and goody bag of items with Otay’s logo and a conservation message.

The District also recognized the students at its monthly Board of Directors virtual meeting on Sept. 2.

“At a time when most are working or learning from home during the pandemic, it was refreshing to see students, parents, and our Board members excited about this educational, creative, and fun project,” said Eileen Salmeron, communications assistant and contest coordinator.

Metropolitan Water District of Southern California hosts an annual student poster contest for a chance to be selected among various participating water agencies across Southern California and be featured in its Water is Life calendar. Otay has submitted all six of its local winners to the contest. MWD will announce the winners later this year to be featured in the 2021 calendar.

To learn more about the Otay Water District’s annual poster contest and other educational programs, visit

This year’s poster contest winners included:


Zahraa Alzayadi Poster
First place: Zahraa Alzayadi, fifth grade, Jamacha Elementary School

Amy Coghill Poster
Second place: Amy Coghill, third grade, Tiffany Elementary School

Sophie Coghill Poster
Third place: Sophie Coghill, kindergarten, Tiffany Elementary School


Sofia Perez Valles PosterFirst place: Sofia Perez Valles, 12th grade, Olympian High School

Stephenie Pace Poster
Second place: Stephenie Pace, 12th grade, Olympian High School

Lucia Perez Valles Poster
Third place: Lucia Perez Valles, 10th grade, Olympian High School