With the summer heat approaching and breaks from school to follow, the Imperial Irrigation District Board of Directors adopted a resolution calling for the month of May to be declared “Water Safety Month” in the Imperial Valley.
The Board’s action clears the way for IID’s iconic mascot Dippy Duck to share the water safety message with schoolchildren across Imperial County as the school year winds down, promoting the safety message all summer.
The “Stay Active. Play Safe. Be Cool,” public awareness campaign continues to be presented to local schools. This year’s water safety program began May 1 and will run through June 9, reinforcing Dippy Duck’s three rules:
Never swim in a canal.
Never play near a canal.
Never jump in a canal.
“This program began in 1959 with Dippy Duck making his first appearance in 1966,” said Susie Carrillo, IID’s public affairs specialist. “We are so excited to have Dippy continue to be a part of this successful program sharing his very important water safety message.”
The district reaches as many as 21,000 students in elementary schools each year to raise awareness about the dangers of canals while promoting safe practices. As part of the program, Dippy Duck visits various summer programs to remind children of his water safety rules. IID extends its appreciation to all school districts, cities and communities in Imperial County for their assistance in sharing the water safety message.
IID annually launches a public awareness campaign to advertise the water safety message, an effort that has been enhanced in recent years with the installation of signs near canals reminding everyone that the best way to stay safe is to stay away. In addition, as part of the water safety program, Carrillo added that the district will assist local cities with grant funds so they can host water activities throughout the summer.
The largest irrigation district in the nation, IID operates and maintains more than 3,100 miles of canals and drains in Imperial County.