Imagine a Day Without Water Video Challenge

The City of Durham Department of Water Management invites all area high school students to join us in participating in the Value of Water Campaign’s 2020 Imagine a Day Without Water!

This challenge is designed to engage Durham high school students in the nation-wide event “Imagine a Day Without Water,” hosted by the Value of Water Campaign. The purpose of Imagine a Day Without Water is to bring attention to the neglected water systems in America. It has become commonplace in the United States to take water and wastewater infrastructure and systems for granted, with little consideration for what life would be like without adequate water services.


Entrants should create a short video exploring or depicting what various aspects of daily life might look like/be affected by an entire day without any water. This can showcase a day without water in its relation to infrastructure, the environment, consumption or conservation. The nature of the videos can range from fun and light-hearted to more serious depictions of a day without water.


Take a look at our video contest winners from 2019-2020 for some creative inspiration!

1st Place 2020 - Sasha Taylor - The School for Creative Studies

1st Place 2019 - Brandon Caveney, Will Nichols, Kate Nichols - Durham Academy

2nd Place 2020 - Antonio Cowart, Hannah Howard, Santiago Parejo Cano, Elijah Leathers, and Amir Jakien - Hillside High School

2nd Place 2019 - Mirella Kades, Chaz Strickland, Hannah O'Brien, Stacey Kang - Durham Academy

Contest Rules and Details


The contest is open to all Durham residents ages 13 to 18. The video must be submitted with the attached parent/guardian release form. Individuals or teams are allowed to submit one video. Prizes for teams will be divided among team members. 


  • First Place: $200 Visa gift card
  • Second Place: $100 Visa gift card
  • Third Place: $50 Visa gift card


Submit videos by 11:59 p.m. on Sunday, October 18, 2020.  

Your Task:

  • Create a short video depicting how your life would be impacted by a day without water
  • Videos can be light-hearted, funny or serious—as long as the message conveys the importance of water!

Video Requirements:

  • Length: Up to 1 minute
  • Equipment: Any equipment available to the entrant(s)—including horizontal/landscape cell phone footage, cameras, and computers
  • Acceptable file formats include: AVI, H264/H265, MOV, MP4, MPEG, WMV

Submission of Videos

Videos must be submitted online using the online video submission form. Name your video file in the format "FIRSTNAME_LASTNAME_IDWW20" (e.g. Wayne_Drop_ IDWW20".mp4) and upload your video along with your release form. Video submissions can be submitted by individuals or teams with the release form.

To submit your video:

  1. Complete a release form.
  2. Go to the video submission form and complete all required fields and upload your completed release form and your video.
  3. Press the submit button and wait until you see a confirmation page acknowledging your submission.

If you have any issues submitting your video using the form, please email  

Rights and Copyrighted Materials

The video must not contain brand names or trademarks. It must not use content that someone else owns the copyright to (music tracks, snippets of copyrighted programs, or videos by other users) without obtaining authorization.

The video must not contain material that violates or infringes another’s rights. This includes but is not limited to privacy, publicity or intellectual property rights. It must not contain any material that constitutes copyright or license infringement.

Inappropriate and Unlawful Materials

The video must not contain material that is inappropriate, indecent, obscene, hateful, defamatory, slanderous, or libelous.

The video must not contain material that promotes bigotry, racism, hatred or harm against any group or individual. It must not promote discrimination based on race, sex, religion, nationality, disability, sexual orientation, or age.

The video must not contain material that is unlawful, in violation of or contrary to the laws or regulations in North Carolina.

Video Length, Equipment and Assistance

The video must be not exceed a maximum length of one minute (60 seconds) and must comply with all of the rules and requirements of the video challenge. Entrants may use video filming and editing equipment available to them, but should not seek or utilize the assistance of professional or trained video producers.

For helpful advice, refer to this “Basics of Video Shooting” tutorial courtesy of Arizona State University’s Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication


Video challenge entries will be reviewed and judged by a panel. Members will be selected by the City of Durham Department of Water Management. This will be the “Imagine a Day Without Water 2020 Video Challenge” judging committee. 

Judges will look for a quality depiction of the theme and message behind "Imagine a Day Without Water." Entries will also be judged on originality of work, creativity, aesthetics and entertainment value, and overall presentation.

*The Department of Water Management reserves the right to alter categories and may or may not award all categories as described.