Santa Monica College (SMC) has received a $10,000 water conservation grant that will be used for student-created video public service announcements (PSAs) which will address how SMC’s international students save water in their home nations.

Blending two of SMC’s strategic initiatives — sustainability and global citizenship — the announcements will highlight the ways in which water use and conservation are perceived around the world to inspire others to “think globally and act locally,” college officials say.

The SMC students — who will be advised by media professionals — will film interviews with international students and produce the spots this fall.

“This really illustrates that SMC has an innovative approach,” said Genevieve Bertone, the college’s project manager for sustainability. “We’re excited to reflect the global representation we have on our campus, and it’s great that the PSAs fit into our global citizenship initiative.”

SMC was one of 15 California colleges and universities — chosen from a record 40 submissions — to receive one of the Southern California World Water Forum grants that totaled nearly $180,000.

The grants are awarded by the Metropolitan Water District of Southern California, Bureau of Reclamation, and the Sanitation Districts of Los Angeles County.

Bertone said the public service announcements will be posted by the end of January on several Web sites — www.smc.edu/, www.treepeople.org/ and www .edenslostandfound.org/.

The announcements will probably also be shown on Santa Monica and Los Angeles local cable television stations.

“If all the students at Santa Monica College watch this PSA and follow at least two simple suggestions for conserving water at home, and each cuts back his or her water usage by five gallons a day, more than 150,000 gallons of water will be saved in a single day,” Bertone said. “Over a year, those same students could save nearly 55 million gallons of water.”

The project will be administered by faculty in the SMC Philosophy and Social Science Department.

Santa Monica College, with an enrollment of approximately 30,000 students, has one of the largest international student populations — about 3,000 — of any community college in the nation, say college officials. The college is becoming increasingly known for its aggressive sustainability campaign, which is reflected in everything from its curriculum to its LEED-certified buildings, and from its recycling to its Sustainable Works program, which trains hundreds of SMC students each year in living more eco-friendly lives, officials said.

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