State Senator Bob Huff (R-San Dimas) recently honored a group of Orange County students at the State Capitol for their collaborative development of an award-winning water conservation plan.

Responding to California’s water crisis, the all-girl team from Washington Middle School in La Habra, known as “The Water Guardians,” worked together to find ways to reduce water use at their school.

“The Water Guardians of Washington Middle School used teamwork and S.T.E.M (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) skills to address local environmental issues,” Senator Huff said Thursday, March 3 during the Senate floor presentation. “Their ingenuity and desire for responsible water stewardship led this school to victory.”

The students worked over the course of several months before submitting their concept to the Lexus Eco Challenge, a nationwide contest that encourages students to help their community solve an environmental problem. Their plan calls for drip irrigation, low-flush toilets and drought-tolerant landscaping in an effort to reduce water use at their school by at least 30 percent.

-03-03-16WaterGuardiansResolution-2470They became the only middle school team from California to win in the challenge’s Land and Water category.

For this, the group of eighth-grade students — Angeline Dequit, Fiona Paredes, Jessica Gallegos, June Kim, Alma Spicher and Vanessa Canchola — traveled to Sacramento, where they were presented with a Senate Resolution following Senator Huff’s floor statement.

Afterward, we reached out to the state senator’s communications director, Bill Bird, to talk about the presentation.

“Presentations like this do not happen often,” he told the Newsroom, “so it’s a pretty rare event. It’s even more rare for a group of students from a school to be recognized. What these kids did is pretty special and student achievement like this is noteworthy.”

Senator Huff provided not only recognition for their accomplishments, but also recognition for the bright futures ahead of them.

“You have demonstrated your ability to become future leaders and innovative problem-solvers in this great state of California. Congratulations on a job well done, “ Huff said in closing.

The Water Guardians have been officially invited to the Lexus Grand Final Challenge, and school officials say they have chosen a bigger goal: saving the earth one drop of water at a time.

The grand prize winners will be announced March 7.

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