Chula Vista, San Diego Residents Win Top Prizes in Live WaterSmart Photo Contest

June 08, 2017

Instagrammers from around San Diego County have more reason to “like” water today as the San Diego County Water Authority announced the winners in its first-ever photo contest hosted on the social media platform.

The Water Authority received more than 80 photos in total for its Live WaterSmart Photo Contest, held throughout May in celebration of Water Awareness Month. The contest encouraged residents to submit photos and captions that helped share what water means to them – how they experience it, use it, appreciate it and know of its importance in everyday activities and their surroundings.

The first grand prize winner, selected by fans through the most “likes” posted to the contest participants’ Instagram photos, was Candace Chu of San Diego. Her photo of the flowering shores of the Cabrillo National Monument and its caption about natural resource sustainability earned 200 “likes” on Instagram.

The winner of the second grand prize, awarded by a panel of Water Authority judges based on the entry’s originality, composition and connection to the contest theme, was Genevieve Fong of Chula Vista. Her photo, taken at the Living Coast Discovery Center in Chula Vista, recognized the relationship between water and all living things through a photo of a pond reflecting trees, the sky and a lone waterfowl.

“This contest reminds us all of how valuable water is in our region and how important it is in our daily life,” said Mark Muir, chair of the Water Authority’s Board of Directors. “Although drought conditions have ended, the contest participants’ photos and captions show our region’s residents know the benefits of living a WaterSmart lifestyle and how just about everything around us is connected to water.”

The Water Authority also recognized Sandra Carlson of San Diego and Abby Wattierrez of Encinitas as the contest’s two runners up. Carlson submitted a photo from under Scripps Pier and a caption reflecting on the role water plays in research. Wattierrez submitted a close-up photo of water droplets giving life and beauty to a rose at the world-famous Butchart Gardens in Victoria, British Columbia.

Winners received prizes generously donated by contest sponsors including the Hilton La Jolla Torrey Pines, SeaWorld San Diego, Balboa Park Cultural Partnership, The San Diego County Fair and The Cravory, a cookie company with locations in Carlsbad and Point Loma.

All eligible contest participants received two tickets to the Fleet Science Center in Balboa Park. All contest photos are still available for viewing at the Water Authority’s Instagram account (@sdcwa).

For more information about how residents and businesses increase their water-use efficiency rain or shine, go to

  • The San Diego County Water Authority sustains a $268 billion regional economy and the quality of life for 3.3 million residents through a multi-decade water supply diversification plan, major infrastructure investments and forward-thinking policies that promote fiscal and environmental responsibility. A public agency created in 1944, the Water Authority delivers wholesale water supplies to 23 retail water providers, including cities, special districts and a military base.

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