GAINESVILLE -- Captain Conservation, Gainesville's water-saving superhero, swept into Lanier Elementary School on Friday hoping to defeat his arch enemy, the water waster.
The Captain, clad in his signature blue-and-green caped costume, asked his allies, Lanier kindergartners, to help him in his fight against water-squandering scoundrels.
Captain Conservation briefed nearly 40 of his comrades on the grip that the draining and destructive drought has on Gainesville.
"We haven't had hardly any rain," Captain Conservation said. "Captain is very sad about that ... because as that water level has gone down, we've been continuing to use more water."
He told them the city had used 18 million gallons of water on Thursday.
"They're telling us we could really run out of water," Captain Conservation said. "There could be a time real soon when you get up in the morning to turn the water on and nothing would come out."
The Captain told the children how they could save the water - and the day - in a variety of ways.
"We've got to all find ways to do our own part," Captain Conservation said.
He introduced his sidekick, Scarlett Fuller, Gainesville's water conservation specialist. Fuller will fly in and help anyone fight the wrathful water bill, and show people how to save water in their homes, Captain Conservation said.
He told the students they could save at least four gallons of water if they turned off the water when they brushed their teeth. Some of the kindergartners were surprised at the amount of water a simple teeth-cleaning could use.
"I didn't really know I was using that much water yesterday," 5-year-old Andrew Woody said.
Long showers and leaky faucets are also an enemy of Captain Conservation's cause. He said anyone who insisted on showering for a long time should just take a bath.
"You can sit in the tub until you shrivel up like a raisin or a prune," Captain Conservation said.
Maggie Bowman, 6, told the Captain that she not only saved but shared her water. "Whenever I take a bath, I save some of the water to give my plants," she said.
Captain Conservation said the water wasters could not be defeated if his comrades did not spread the word about the importance of water conservation. "Tell somebody about the way they can save water, because we want the number of water we use to go down," he said. "Because right now, we've got a real long number."
Captain Conservation ended his visit at Lanier Elementary by swearing in his comrades to the Water Conservation Police force.
"I promise, to save water and tell others how to do the same," they all swore.
The pact was sealed with a Captain Conservation karate chop.