Missouri’s thousands of miles of rivers, streams and lakes, along with underground aquifers, supply our state’s 6 million residents with water to drink. Missouri’s water resources also play a critical and valuable role in providing our families, friends and visitors with the ability to enjoy numerous outdoor recreational opportunities, supporting industry and meeting our agricultural needs. Knowing the health of Missouri’s water helps the department take the correct measures to protect and keep our water clean for everyone’s use. Ensuring our Missouri waters are safe to enjoy today, as well as ensure the same for future generations, is the essence of the department's mission.
Many organizations throughout Missouri monitor bodies of water across the state. Department staff and trained volunteers take samples of Missouri’s streams, lakes and rivers to gauge the overall health of the water. The samples are analyzed in the department’s laboratory to ensure the safety and quality of these precious resources.