Children’s art used to solve water leaks

It’s often said that artwork can often hold the answers to some of life’s greatest issues. This is the hope of the Utilities Department of Oklahoma City as they tackle water conservation in the state.

The burden of finding methods for proper water usage and solutions to leaks has surpassed older generations.

As the problem grows in stature, water conservation specialists have devised a plan.


Students can tap into their artistic talents for the inaugural water conservation poster contest celebrating “Fix a Leak” week, March 18-24.

Kindergarten through sixth-grade students are encouraged to draw or paint a poster that best represents the importance of using water wisely and the impact of water waste from leaks.

The contest is open to students who attend school in the Oklahoma City water service area, including the Oklahoma City, Putnam City, Bethany and Western Heights school districts, and all other schools served by the Oklahoma City Utilities Department. The deadline for submissions is March 29.

Disguise a plea for help as an art contest? This is the sort of plan you’d find in a low-budgeted rendition of a Shakespeare play. Clever, clever indeed.

I must commend the Utilities Department for attempting to include the youth in the decision-making process. If they only knew that one of their solutions would be chosen to solve Oklahoma’s issue with water usage.

Sometimes it takes a set of fresh eyes to find a solution. Who knows? Perhaps the next Dr. John Snow is going through elementary school right now. No, not Game of Thrones and rightful king of Westeros Jon Snow. John Snow, the man who developed the London sewer system in the 1800’s to stop the flow of cholera.

At the end of the day, this competition is posed as an art contest to illustrate proper water usage and water leaks. The Utilities department has some specifics to not raise suspicions.

Posters must be drawn horizontally (landscape) on 11-inch-by-17-inch white poster paper. Students may use crayon, watercolor, poster paint, markers, ink, cut paper, tissue paper or fabric, but are asked not to use materials that may smear, crack or chip. Students are encouraged to use large lettering, few words, heavy lines and strong colors. Entries can be made individually or collaboratively.

In fairness, you couldn’t tell students to make the artwork out of towels and sponges. Ironic how they made sure to mention not use materials which would alter to material.

The Utilities Department won’t simply use the artwork of the students as temporary solutions. In order to legitimize this competition, First-, second- and third-place winners will be selected from each grade, with all places receiving a certificate of merit. Oklahoma City Mayor David Holt will present the first-place winners with their certificates during a special meeting at City Hall in April.

I imagine the “special meeting” will be to tell the first-place winners to not narcs on the plan.

The Oklahoma City Utilities Department continues to work on solutions to water conservation while promoting children’s involvement. Entry forms to submit “artwork” can be found at