By Bryce Roberto and Traci Muldoon

The Municipal Water District of Orange County (MWDOC) wrapped up its 2018 Water Awareness Poster Contest this past April, celebrating 30 years of water focused student artwork with an Awards Ceremony at the Discovery Science Center (DSC) in Santa Ana. We would like to thank our talented Orange County students and teachers who submitted entries this year.

The theme of this year’s contest was “Water is Life,” and the District received over 860 entries from Orange County students in kindergarten through twelfth grade. MWDOC staff selected the top 40 posters that best represented this year’s theme, and the posters were then uploaded to an online voting form and sent to MWDOC directors and staff, member agency staff and directors, and the 2018 Poster Contest participants. The online voting form was used to select the 4 Grand Prize Winners, one in each grade category (K-2, 3-5, 6-8, 9-12); there were 8,176 online votes.

All 40 winners and their families were invited to an awards ceremony on June 4, to recognize students for their outstanding contributions. The Awards Ceremony was a private event hosted by DSC, who opened up exhibits for the students and their families to enjoy prior to the recognition ceremony. The ceremony itself, presented by MWDOC Board President Brett R. Barbre, included photographing students with their artwork on stage, and presenting them with an array of prizes including: signed certificates from their local California legislative representatives, a 143 piece deluxe art box to encourage continued creative thinking, and a conservation bucket filled with water-saving devices which was sponsored by MWDOC member agencies. The ceremony ended with the announcement of the 4 Grand Prize Winners who each received an iPad mini. Following the ceremony, the students and their guests enjoyed refreshments and photo opportunities with Ricki the Rambunctious Raindrop, MWDOC’s school program mascot for over 40 years.

As an added bonus, teachers of participating classes were entered into a raffle for a pizza party that included a special Ricki Raindrop guest appearance. The winning class this year was Carol Veravanich’s third grade class from De Portola Elementary School. Additionally, three students were selected to have their artwork submitted to the Metropolitan Water District of Southern California’s (Metropolitan) annual art contest. Winning artwork selected for the Metropolitan contest is included in a print calendar that is distributed across Southern California.

The contest is part of MWDOC’s countywide education effort, established in 1974. The contest allows students to find creative ways to express the importance of water – and of using it wisely.

To learn more about the annual Water Awareness Contests, or to see a complete list of past winners, please visit