Drinking Water Week is an opportunity to recognize the vital role water plays in our daily lives and is celebrated annually during the first full week of May. By far the largest source of drinking water for Missourians is surface water from the Missouri River. the abundant supply of water in the Missouri River and its proximity to the state's major population centers make the use of this river as a source so popular.

Groundwater is the next most used source of drinking water for Missouri's community supplies. In southern Missouri, good quality groundwater is easy to obtain and typically requires very little treatment to be used for drinking water. Some ground water systems have the best of both worlds and use alluvial wells in valleys of the Missouri and Mississippi river system where they can get large volumes of water free of surface contaminants. Wells in the Missouri River alluvium provide groundwater to a significant population. More than half the state's population gets their drinking water from the Missouri River or its alluvial wells. The importance of this resource cannot be overstated.

Drinking Water Week is a week set aside yearly to make people more aware of the benefits of tap water. A safe, reliable water supply is critical to the success of any community. It creates jobs, attracts industry and investment and provides for the health and welfare of citizens in ways ranging from disease prevention to fire suppression. We often take water resources for granted unless we are living through a drought or when depleted water supplies threaten a  community's future.

Want to learn more about your drinking water? Read your public water supply's Consumer Confidence Report or review additional drinking water annual reports.

Poster Contest

To celebrate Drinking Water Week, the Missouri Department of Natural Resources and the American Water Works Association hold a poster contest yearly for Missouri fifth-grade students. The winning students are awarded $300 for first place, $200 for second place and $100 for third place. Entries are judged on three criteria: how original the entry is, how well the concept is executed and how well the poster relates to public water supplies. The poster should show how tap water is essential to our daily lives. This year's contest theme was "There when you need it."

Water plays a vital role in our daily lives, and this poster contest asks students to celebrate what only tap water can deliver. Contest information will be updated when the contest opens for entries. For more information, call 800-361-4827 or 573-526-1837.

2021 Poster Contest Winners

This year more than 1,000 entries were received either by mail or electronic submissions. The students' talent and creativity made it tough on the judges. Following are the top three winners. 

Water - there when you need it, depicting the water cycle and where we get our water
1st Place - Emma Conway, Shenandoah Valley
Poster in Braille showing how water is available when we need it
2nd place - Addy Mara, Senath Hornersville Middle School


Poster showing how everyone including fish use water
3rd place - Ro Larraga, Sedalia Middle School