"Misty" by Bonita Vista High School Noah Kitcher sophomore was a winning entry in the 2022 Sweetwater Authority High School Student Photo Contest. Photo: Sweetwater Authority

Sweetwater Authority 2023 Student Photo Contest Open

The 15th annual Sweetwater Authority High School Photo Contest is now open for entries. The contest showcases and celebrates how safe, reliable water service supports our daily lives through photography.

The theme for the 2023 contest is “Water In Daily Life.” Past winners have featured photos from landscapes to everyday household activities and using water to wildlife and pets.

1st Place: Ashley Monroy, Hilltop High School, Grade 12 – “Summer Day.” Photo: Sweetwater Authority

1st Place in the 2002 Color Category: Ashley Monroy, Hilltop High School, Grade 12 – “Summer Day.” Photo: Sweetwater Authority

“Water in Daily Life”

“Whether at home, outdoors, at school, or within our community, water is vital to everything we do,” said Sweetwater Authority Board Chair Hector Martinez. “This contest offers students a chance to reflect on how water supports their lives and showcase that through their artistic talent. The Board is proud to continue this tradition of engaging with local students about the value of water, both through this contest and our other education programs and partnerships.

Winners will receive monetary prizes, have their artwork displayed at the Bonita Museum & Cultural Center, and receive recognition at a Sweetwater Authority Board meeting in May 2023.

Creativity, technical quality, visual appeal, and theme

Honorable Mention winners in the 2022 Color Category: (L) Skyler Yowakim, 9th Grade, Bonita Vista High School, “Stepping Into The Future;” (R) Sebastian Pimentel Lugo, 9th Grade, Sweetwater High School “Solin Bath.” Photo: Sweetwater Authority

The contest is open to students who live or attend school in the Sweetwater Authority service area.

The deadline to submit entries is 5 p.m. March 17. Photos must be taken in 2022 or 2023 within the Sweetwater River Watershed or the  Sweetwater Authority service area boundaries covering National City, Bonita, and western and central Chula Vista.

Photos may be in black and white or color. Entrants can submit up to three photos in each category. Students are permitted to edit the photos for minor adjustments only and must retain a natural, realistic appearance. Photos may not depict bottled water or the ocean or beach.

1st Place: Skyler Yowakim, Bonita Vista High School, Grade 9 – “Making A Wave.' Photo: Sweetwater Authority

1st Place in the 2022 Black and White category: Skyler Yowakim, Bonita Vista High School, Grade 9 – “Making A Wave.’ Photo: Sweetwater Authority

In addition, each photo must include a short essay of 50 to 100 words describing how the photo related to the contest theme. Judging will be performed by a panel of Sweetwater Authority staff and community experts. Judging criteria includes creativity, technical quality, adherence to the theme, visual appeal, and the narrative to explain the significance of the photo

Winners receive cash prizes: $400 for first place, $300 for second place, and $200 for third place. Sixty-five students submitted entries in last year’s competition. Full contest rules and submission information is available at Submissions must be emailed to . Photos must be in JPEG form, 10 MB or less, and 300 PPI resolution. Photos must be sized to 8 x 10 inches.

(Editor’s note: The SweetwaterAuthority is one of the San Diego County Water Authority’s 24 member agencies that deliver water across the San Diego County region.)