IMPERIAL COUNTY — With the summer heat approaching and breaks from schoolwork soon following, the Imperial Irrigation District Board of Directors has adopted a resolution calling for the month of May to be declared Water Safety Month in the Imperial Valley.
The resolution paves the way for IID mascot Dippy Duck to share the water safety message with schoolchildren across the County as the school year winds down, promoting the safety message all summer long.
Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, this year’s campaign, “Stay Active. Play Safe. Be Cool,” is being presented virtually to local schools. This year’s water safety program began April 23 and will run through June 9, reinforcing Dippy Duck's three rules:
Never swim in a canal.
Never play, run, walk, or ride a bicycle near a canal.
Never jump in a canal.
Since 1959, IID has proclaimed each May to be Water Safety Month. During the school year, the District reaches as many as 21,000 Imperial County students in elementary schools to raise awareness about the dangers of canals while promoting safe practices.
“Dippy Duck, our water safety mascot, made his first appearance in 1966 and we are excited today to announce that this year he will be celebrating 55 years of promoting the water safety message,” said Susie Carrillo, water safety coordinator.
She added that the District extends its appreciation to all school districts in the County for their assistance in sharing the water safety message with their students.
In addition to the water safety presentations to schoolchildren, the District will launch an awareness campaign during the summer, advertising the water safety message in English and Spanish across the Valley, including adding new signs near canals as reminders that the best way to stay safe is to stay away.
IID, the largest irrigation District in the Nation, operates and maintains more than 3,100 miles of canals and drains in Imperial County.