Drinking Water Week is May 5-11, 2024


Drinking Water Week is observed nationwide the first full week of May each year. Drinking Water Week is designed to make people more aware of the vital role water plays in our daily lives. 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. We often take water resources for granted, unless we find ourselves in a drought or when depleted water supplies threaten a community's future.

One way the Missouri Department of Natural Resources observes Drinking Water Week is by highlighting the importance of safe drinking water. Where do we get our drinking water? How is that water protected, cleaned and delivered throughout a community? What regulations and standards exist to safeguard the public health?

A young girl with her hands together over a sink bringing water from a running kitchen faucet to her mouth for a drink

By far the largest source of drinking water for Missourians is water from the Missouri River. The abundant supply of water in the Missouri River and its closeness to the state's major population centers is what makes it a popular drinking water source. Groundwater from water wells is the next most used source of drinking water for Missouri's communities. Some water systems have the best of both worlds and use wells in valleys of the Missouri and Mississippi river system, where they can get large amounts of water without surface contaminants. More than half of Missouri's population receives their drinking water from the Missouri River or its wells. The importance of this resource cannot be overstated. 

After the water is collected, water professionals – from engineers designing infrastructure to operators monitoring treatment plants around the clock – work to ensure the water is safe to drink and readily available to residents and visitors of Missouri. Each public water system is required to hire trained certified operators and monitor conditions at individual water plants. Water systems are also required to regularly sample and test the water for different contaminants to verify the water they are serving to the public meets all federal and state standards. These water samples must be analyzed by a state-approved laboratory and the results must be reported to the Missouri Department of Natural Resources. The department would like to express our appreciation for local water professionals and their efforts to keep safe drinking water flowing in our communities. 

Want to learn more about your drinking water? Read your public water supply's Consumer Confidence Report or review other various drinking water reports about the state of Missouri's drinking water. The department's Public Drinking Water Branch oversees Missouri’s public water supplies. 

Poster Contest

In recognition and celebration of Drinking Water Week, the American Water Works Association and the Missouri Department of Natural Resources hold a poster contest for Missouri fifth graders. The department invites fifth-grade students across Missouri to tap into their artistic skills and talent to create their best poster for this year's celebration!

Entry Guidelines

The theme for 2024 is “There when you need it!” The poster should show how tap water is essential to our daily lives.

  • Deadline: Entries must be postmarked by March 15, 2024
  • Size: No larger than 11 x 17 inches
  • Media: Artists may use any color or media (crayons, marker, pencil, etc.) to create their posters
  • Information to include: Student name, teacher name, school name, address and phone number
  • Where to send entries: Missouri Department of Natural Resources, Water Protection Program, Attention: Sarah Filkins, PO Box 176, Jefferson City, MO 65102

Posters will not be returned after the contest.

Contest Winners

Entries will be judged on originality, how well the overarching thought is delivered and how well the poster relates to public water supplies. 

Prizes: Prize money is provided by American Water Works Association.

  • First Place - $300
  • Second Place - $200
  • Third Place - $100

More information

For more information, please contact Sarah Filkins of the Missouri Department of Natural Resources, by telephone at 573-522-5027 or by email at sarah.filkins@dnr.mo.gov.

2024 Contest Winners

To view the full gallery, tap on any image.


Below are some terrific resources to help expand your student's knowledge during Drinking Water week.


Lesson Plants, Teacher Guides, Activities

Additional water-related environmental and science-based classroom resources and project ideas are available through EPA's Lesson Plans, Teacher Guides and Online Environmental Resources for Educators: Water webpage.