Students win big at High Desert Water Summit
Courtesy Mojave Water Agency

Students win big at High Desert Water Summit

The Mojave Water Agency recently made a splash in the minds of middle and high school students at its annual Innovators High Desert Water Summit. The event was the culmination of two scholarship competitions that offered $3,000 in each winning category. The event also included water industry speakers, breakout sessions and student presentations on the campus of High Desert Church in Victorville.

Students from La Contenta Middle School in Yucca Valley took home the top prize in the Problem Solvers competition that tasked teams with developing software to help homeowners transform their yards from water-wasting landscapes to beautiful, drought-tolerant works of art. In January, the students presented their projects to a panel of judges while being filmed for the award-winning PBS show Curiosity Quest hosted by Joel Greene.

The team from Melva Davis Academy in Victorville took home the second-place grant of $1,000.

In addition to the Problem Solvers award recognition, Brianna Mendoza of University Preparatory in Victorville, delivered her winning Essay Contest presentation.

“Brianna was selected by a panel of industry judges for her knowledge and passion on the subject of water conservation,” said Mojave Water Agency Board President Mike Page. “This year’s Essay Contest theme was ‘Our Beautiful Desert’ and Brianna certainly emphasized the importance of drought-tolerant landscaping and offered new ideas such as clover lawns to assist in residential irrigation. Although she has her sights set on becoming a nurse, we are confident that water conservation will be a part of her future in some form.”

The Essay Contest finalists also included Harjot Singh of Victor Valley High School and Kristina Adikari of University Preparatory who were each awarded a $1,000 scholarships.

Keynote speaker, Andrew Canchola, shared his insight on future careers in the water industry and told of his own journey in pursuing a career in natural resources. Andrew, a past Water Summit student attendee and Essay Contest finalist, interned at the Agency and currently works for the City of Greenley, Colorado as a Water Treatment Operator.

Other event speakers included Watermaster Specialist Cristina Sedano and Water Resources Hydrogeologist Wesley Massoll of the Mojave Water Agency.

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