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40 EnviroMedia Employees Skip Showers to Demonstrate Commitment to Water Conservation; Environmentally Conscious PR-Advertising Agency Pledges `No Shower Thursday' to Raise Awareness about Water Conservation, Especially During Texas Drought.

AUSTIN, Texas -- To help focus attention on the drought in Texas, all employees of Austin-based Tuerff-Davis EnviroMedia Inc. will skip a daily ritual most people take for granted -- the morning shower.

"Friday marks our company's ninth anniversary and here we are in the middle of a drought," said Kevin Tuerff, principal and co-founder. "Since water awareness is one of our core business issues, why not celebrate by calling attention to how important it is to conserve and protect this precious natural resource? Just for a day, our employees have agreed to skip their showers to make a point that all of us can do little things to save water in a big way."

The average person uses approximately 50 gallons of water for a 10-minute shower. As EnviroMedia begins its ninth year in business, its employees will save an estimated 2,000 gallons of water by not showering on Thursday.

"Drastic times call for drastic measures," joked company principal and co-founder Valerie Davis. "Of course we're not saying people need to skip showers to save water, and we do believe in good personal hygiene I promise. But we also believe it's time to call attention to just how much water we use for everyday tasks, and that our water doesn't just flow out of the faucet. It comes from limited natural sources, like the Colorado River."

With the exception of skipping showers, installing low-flow showerheads is the single most effective step consumers can take to cut indoor water use. The devices only take a minute to install, provide an invigorating flow, and cost less than $10 at just about any home improvement store. As spring planting season approaches, consumers can also choose drought-resistant plants and should remember to water deeply (about an inch) every five days for a healthy lawn.

Other easy water-saving tips include:

--Shortening your showers to less than 10 minutes.

--Turning off the water faucet while brushing your teeth or shaving.

--Washing only full loads in the dishwasher and washing machine.

--Immediately fixing leaky faucets inside and outside. A dripping faucet can waste up to 2 gallons of water per hour.

--Fixing broken sprinkler heads, and ensuring they're not watering the sidewalk or street.

--Using a broom and not water to clean driveways and sidewalks.

--Replacing old, high-use toilets with modern lower-flush toilets. The City of Austin has a rebate program for toilets that qualify.

--Looking for water-saving appliances the next time you replace your washer or dishwasher.

--Observing calls from local water authorities to conserve water during dry weather periods.

EnviroMedia's staff regularly participates in public health and environmental initiatives. In the past several years, EnviroMedians have volunteered for a variety of causes, including the City of Austin's Christmas tree recycling program and gathering signatures to put Austin's smoking ban on the city ballot. EnviroMedia employees recently conserved 4,500 miles driven and more than 300 gallons of gas through a recent agency fuel conservation challenge. Many employees have embraced commute solutions as a long-term behavior.

"Not wasting water is critical," said EnviroMedia receptionist Cathy Levine. "I live outside of Dripping Springs and depend on a rainwater catchment tank for my household water, so I really do worry when dry weather affects our water supply. When I turn on my shower Friday morning, I want water to come out of the faucet."

Texas Drought Disaster

EnviroMedia's water-saving idea developed after Gov. Perry's Jan. 19 announcement declaring all 254 Texas counties a drought disaster.

Lack of rain is affecting Lakes Buchanan and Travis, possibly dropping them to their lowest levels since 2000. Lake Travis has hit 17 feet below its full-capacity elevation and could drop another 21 feet during the year if the dry weather pattern continues, reported the Lower Colorado River Authority (LCRA), an EnviroMedia client. The LCRA is asking water users to practice voluntary water-conservation measures.

The Barton Springs/Edwards Aquifer Conservation District is calling for a 20 percent reduction in water use. Even with recent rainfall in central Texas, soil moisture is very low, and much of the rainfall evaporated before it could boost aquifer levels.

About EnviroMedia

Tuerff-Davis EnviroMedia Inc. is the nation's only full-service public relations and advertising agency dedicated solely to improving public health and the environment. Client campaigns include "Don't Mess with Texas" for the Texas Department of Transportation, "Tobacco is Foul" for the Texas Department of State Health Services and "AirCheckTexas" for the Texas Department of Public Safety. Corporate clients include Dell Inc. and Green Mountain Energy. EnviroMedia has also implemented water awareness projects for the City of Dallas, Texas Water Development Board and the North Texas Municipal Water District.
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Publication:Business Wire
Date:Feb 8, 2006
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