Imperial, California - With desert temperatures rising and the need to remind the public that the safest way to avoid drowning in canals and drains is to stay away from them, the Imperial Irrigation District Board of Directors has declared the month of May to be Water Safety Month.

Following the declaration, IID water safety mascot Dippy Duck and his team has begun his annual migration to grade schools across the Imperial Valley to promote the water safety message.

Between now and the middle of June, Dippy and his friends will share water safety information with about 30,000 elementary-aged children throughout Imperial County. This year, however, the water safety program will be extra special—in addition to reminding children of the need to stay away from the canal system and to swim in pools with an adult or lifeguard present, Dippy is adding some fun by celebrating his 50th birthday.

Dippy Duck literally came to life way back in 1966 to help build a psychological fence in the minds of children to keep them safe by keeping them away from IID’s 3,100 miles of canals and drains in Imperial County.

In addition to Dippy’s intent to reach every school-aged child with the water safety message, IID also helps local communities by providing funding that supports community pools and summer water activities.

Further, IID supports an additional campaign that reaches junior high and high school students with a similar message.

So, get on board with Dippy and “Stay Active, Play Safe, Be COOL” and swim in pools with an adult or lifeguard present this summer.

For more information, visit where fun-filled interactive games and activities are featured. Information about local summer programs, pool and library locations and hours are also posted there.