May is water safety month

EL CENTRO – In recognition of water’s vital role and the importance of treating it with respect, the Imperial Irrigation District Board of Directors has proclaimed May to be “Water Safety Month.”

IID operates and maintains more than 3,100 miles of canals and drains in Imperial County. Since 1959, the district has conducted a water safety program in the elementary schools and preschools throughout Imperial County to inform children of the hazards of playing in or near a canal, with the cartoon character Dippy Duck joining the program in 1966 as spokesperson and mascot.

Between May 7 and June 11, an estimated 25,000 school children throughout the county will hear the water safety message and be reminded of the need to stay away from the canal system, thanks to the annual water safety campaign.

This year’s theme, “Stay Active, Play Safe, Be COOL,” will be presented to 45 schools showcasing Dippy’s “into the next century” new look. “Children will be reminded to learn to swim and to swim only in safe places where a lifeguard or another adult is present-never in a canal,” says Kevin Kelley, general manager.

As part of the “Stay Active, Play Safe, Be COOL” effort, the message to adults and children throughout the county will be carried on billboards, radio and in the Imperial Valley Mall.

For more information about the canal system and the water safety program, visit, which has a link to Dippy’s own website at where interactive games and activities are featured.