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Posted on: June 1, 2023

Encouraging youth engagement in water education, local student water is life art contest winners

20230517_Water-Is-Life-Art-Showcase_01429-720x480-3fbfcdc4-4305-40ed-8ce0-f00fe0fba287RIVERSIDE, CA – Western Municipal Water District (Western Water) celebrated the artistic talents of nine students from Riverside County schools at a special event dedicated to honoring their award-winning artwork.

"Inspiring water-wise communities begins with imparting knowledge to our youth," shared Western Water’s Board Vice President Laura Roughton. "By encouraging local students to think creatively and draw attention to water-related issues in their communities, we align with our mission in the greater Riverside County region.”

The Water is Life Art Contest invited students from K-12 to submit their artwork for evaluation by local water education professionals. The celebratory event marked the culmination of this contest, where winners were presented awards, and their artwork was selected to be displayed at the Donald D. Galleano Water is Life Art Gallery located in Western Water’s lobby. 

“Given that many of these students have grown up experiencing varying degrees of drought, we wholeheartedly believe in the objectives of the Water is Life Art Contest,” added Roughton. “We are thrilled to showcase the exceptional work of some of our youngest customers." 

At the same event, Western Water also acknowledged the recipients of the Lois B. Krieger Water Project Grants for Educators program. The well-known Lois B. Krieger grant program has attracted Riverside County teachers for over 20 years. K-12 teachers submitted projects on various topics, with over $7,000 awarded. The Krieger grants allow teachers to apply for funding resources to implement water education lessons in their classrooms. 

"Western Water’s top priority is to provide safe and reliable water, and we take pride in educating the next generation by supporting our local teachers," added Roughton. "We recognize the vital role that teachers play in influencing our children. One day, students in our service area will become voters, business owners, homeowners, and leaders. We want to encourage students to take an interest in learning about our water resources."

Krieger served on the board of directors for Western Water and the Metropolitan Water District of Southern California (MWD) for 25 years. She was the first female chairman of the MWD board from 1989 to 1992. The grant bears her name due to her commitment to water education. Western Water provides funding for the grants in conjunction with neighboring water providers who bring water education to local classrooms.   

To learn more about Western Water’s education program, please visit


2023 Water is Life Art Contest Winners


1st Place:

Michelle Wan, 6th Grade

Mark Twain Elementary School 

2nd Place:

Nataly Scarff, 6th Grade

Tomas Rivera Elementary School

3rd Place:

Huaxin Liu, 3rd Grade

Benjamin Franklin Elementary School

Middle School

1st Place:

Areej Alansari 8th Grade | Frank Augustus Miller Middle 

2nd Place: 

Addison Christensen, 8th Grade | Frank Augustus Miller Middle

3rd Place:

Alyssah Medrano, 8th Grade | Frank Augustus Miller Middle

High School

1st Place:

Ray Cheng, 10th Grade | Martin Luther King High School

2nd Place:

Allison Carrasco, 12th Grade | Martin Luther King High School

3rd Place:

Sarah Glenn, 12th Grade | Martin Luther King High School

20230517_Water-Is-Life-Art-Showcase_01398-720x480-eb29cc7b-f05b-40cb-a795-3227effad0f8     20230517_Water-Is-Life-Art-Showcase_01401-720x480-a7cbd48a-42a4-4117-af8b-5025c5efc128


Lois B. Krieger Water Project Grants for Educators program

Natalee Boggs | Indoor Garden/Water Cycle
Murrieta Mesa High School, Shivela Middle School, Murrieta

Carolyn Diaz, Melissa Ging, Heather Haggins, Vera Kilzi | Water and the Environment
Philistine Rondo School of Discovery, Corona

Donald Fitzgerald | Butterfly Milkweed Propagation: Conservation of Resources
Murrieta Valley High School, Murrieta  

Maureen Fortenberry | Water Lab: A STEM Exploring Safe Drinking Water
Mark Twain Elementary School, Riverside

Janice Lomnicky | Plant Habitat Study
E. Hale Curran Elementary School, Murrieta         

Dinah Pilagi | Pedley Garden: The Need of Water
Pedley Elementary School, Jurupa Valley

Christopher Spencer | Water Quality Scientists and Ecologists
Santiago High School, Corona


For more information about Western Water’s facilities, projects, and customer programs, visit Stay updated on  the latest projects, programs, and news by following us on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram




Western Municipal Water District (Western Water) is one of the largest public agencies in Riverside County, providing water and wastewater (sewer) services to nearly a million people, both retail and wholesale customers who live, work, and play within 527-square miles in one of California’s most populous regions. Learn more:

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