LOS ANGELES (CBSLA.com) — Every drop of water counts.
That's the message DigDeep, a human rights organization, conveyed to 450 millennials who attended the first ever "Empty Pool Party" (EPP) in downtown Los Angeles.
On Saturday, attendees enjoyed water-friendly food, live music and cocktails made with purified pool water all while socializing inside and around the Downey Recreation Center's Olympic-sized seasonal swimming pool, which had been drained prior to the event.
A mini-pool was also filled with shade balls and drought-friendly gardens were built in kiddie-pools as part of an educational installment.
"We're in a historic drought, and the way we think about and use our water will have to change forever," said George McGraw, founder of DigDeep. "Unfortunately, most of us take our water, this incredible miracle, completely for granted. We forget to honor water and all of the work it takes for it to get to us."
According to McGraw, most Americans use more than 100 gallons of water per day, while those who live in poverty need at least four liters daily to survive.
In response to the shocking statistic, DigDeep launched a challenge to save 90 gallons of water each day per participant.
To engage in the 4Liters Challenge, one must spend 24 hours only using four liters of water for everything during the month of October.
After completing the challenge, participants share the experience online and then challenge other friends to take over the water saving pledge.
"We want to change the way you think about water," explained McGraw. "We believe that if we can help everyday Americans fall in love with their water -- learn to appreciate, respect and conserve it -- not only will our community be more sustainable, but we'll be able to connect to other communities without water as their equals, not just their donors."
Overall, the EPP offered a community-driven, educational angle to raise awareness about ongoing drought conditions here in Southern California.
In order to earn free admission, party goers pledged to partake in water-saving actions such as taking shorter showers, participating in the 4Liters Challenge and helping to restore freshwater ecosystems by cutting water footprints.
According to DigDeep, water saving elements of the event saved 550,335 gallons of clean water, which is enough to cover the daily use of 7,138 residents.
"Events like this pool party are a fun way to raise awareness," added Alex Delyle, associate creative director of Omelet. "As with everything we do in this campaign, we hope the main takeaway is that each drop of water is so important. We need to treat this valuable resource with great care."
Attendees left the party with gift bags filled with a low flow shower head, bricks for toilets, dry shampoo, a stainless steel water bottle and rebate information.
"The event was about re-imagining our relationship to water," added McGraw. "Part of that means re-imagining the way we use public spaces powered by water too."
Other organizations that sponsored the event were Omelet, Change the Course, Save the Drop L.A., the Mayor's Fund for Los Angeles, Concá Vodka, Whole Foods Market, Boxed Water, Cabo Chips, Kind, XavierC, Jain, Shocktop's Shock the Drought, Barnana, Reelio, Planet Experts, Environmental Media Association, OMDigital and Falcon Waterfree Technologies.
For more information about DigDeep, click here.
for more features.