Residents in cities across the country can save water and earn prizes as part of the National Mayor’s Challenge for Water Conservation March 30-April 30.  The effort pits mayors in a competition “to see which leaders can best inspire residents” to conserve water, save energy and reduce pollution, according to a news release.

“We see mayors making gentleman’s bets over who will win college football games. Here’s a way for them to take on an even more important challenge in a friendly, competitive way,” said environmental artist Wyland, founder of the Wyland Foundation, which sponsors the challenge.

Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa and Honolulu Mayor Peter Carlisle have accepted the challenge. Other mayors are expected to join.

Participants in the competition sign up for the online Clean Water Pledge, promising to follow a series of conservation measures for their home, yard and car. Some examples include washing only full loads of laundry, fixing leaky faucets, watering lawns before 8 a.m., keeping cars tuned, walking or biking short distances, and the more fanciful tip “sing shorter songs in the shower.”

Residents can check online to see how their cities are faring against other cities in the competition. Cities compete in four regions (West, Midwest, South and Northeast) according to population: 5,000-30,000 residents, 30,001-100,000 residents and 100,000-plus residents. Those cities with the highest percentage of residents taking the pledge win. Participants in winning cities can qualify for prizes, including a Toyota Prius Hybrid and home water makeover kits.

The Mayor’s Challenge previously included more than 200 cities in south Florida and southern California in 2009 and 2011. “The Mayor’s Challenge gives communities a way to come together for one very important reason – the future of our planet,” Wyland said.

Take the Clean Water Pledge at http://www.mywaterpledge.com/ and learn more about the Wyland Foundation at http://www.wylandfoundation.org.