IID Board declares May to be water safety month

FROM LEFT: IID Board President Alex Cardenas, Public Affairs Specialist Susie Carrillo, new General Manager Sergio Quiroz, Director Javier Gonzalez, Dippy Duck, Vice President JB Hamby, former General Manager Henry Martinez, Director Gina Dockstader and Water Safety Program Contractor Aaron Popejoy.

IMPERIAL COUNTY – 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.

According to a press release from Imperial Irrigation District (IID), 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. According to the press release, this year’s water safety program began Monday, May 1 and will run through Friday, 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,” Susie Carrillo, IID’s public affairs specialist, said in the release. “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, per the release. 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," the release reads.

"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," the press release reads.

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 release reads.

The largest irrigation district in the nation, IID operates and maintains more than 3,100 miles of canals and drains in Imperial County.

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