Glass of clear drinking water sitting on a countertop

Governor Mike Parson has proclaimed May 7 through May 13 as Drinking Water Week in Missouri.

Drinking Water Week is celebrated nationwide the first full week in May each year. Drinking Water Week is designed to make people more aware of the benefits of tap water. This is an opportunity to recognize 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 in ways ranging from disease prevention to fire suppression. We often take water resources for granted, we find ourselves in a drought or when depleted water supplies threaten a community's future.

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 closeness to the state's major population centers is what makes the use of this river as a drinking water source so popular. Groundwater is the next most used source of drinking water for Missouri's communities. In southern Missouri, good quality groundwater is easy to obtain and typically requires very little treatment to be used for drinking water. Some groundwater 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.

The Missouri Department of Natural Resources expresses its appreciation for the men and women who work to provide safe drinking water to residents and visitors of Missouri. Public water systems in Missouri face increasingly complex challenges, and overall, public water systems in Missouri have an extraordinary compliance record. Each water system is responsible for monitoring conditions at individual water plants and is required to employ trained certified operators. Water systems in Missouri are required to regularly sample water for many different contaminants following federal and state limits. A state-approved laboratory must analyze these samples and the results must be reported to the department. The majority of testing is done at the Department of Natural Resources' and the Department of Health and Senior Services' laboratories at no cost to the systems, saving the consumers money. The department's Public Drinking Water Branch oversees Missouri’s public water supplies. 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

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

Past Contest Winners

To view the full gallery, tap on any image.


If you would like to give your students something to learn during Drinking Water week, here are some terrific resources to expand their knowledge