18th Annual Water Essay Contest Winners Honored at State Capitol

(Atlanta, December 11, 2019) – The Metropolitan North Georgia Water Planning District (Metro Water District) announced the winners of its annual water essay contest during an awards ceremony held at the Georgia State Capitol today.

The grand prize essay was written by Saanvi Warke, a sixth-grader from South Forsyth Middle School in Forsyth County, who received a $500 prize. Elena West, a sixth-grader from William Benson Simpson Middle School in Cobb County, was named the district-wide runner-up.

The Metro Water District also honored winners from the city of Atlanta and the 10 other counties. Each winner and the runner-up received a $100 prize.

Essay Topic – The Value of Water
This year, middle school students were asked to write a 300-500 word essay on the topic: “How do you value water?” Students were asked to consider everything they do in a day that requires water, as well as the extensive infrastructure that is required to bring treated water to and from their homes. Finally, they were asked to consider that when a family pays its water bill, they are paying not only for the water, but also for maintenance and upkeep of that infrastructure.

Miss Warke’s winning essay was called “Value Water, Conserve Water, Save Lives.” In it, she wrote, “The water-use calculator on the My Drop Counts website helps to estimate how much water a family uses. It was shocking to learn that my family’s water use is around 300 gallons of water every day…Some tips to conserve water are turning off the faucet while brushing teeth, fixing leaks immediately, and choosing energy efficient appliances.”

Miss West wrote about the impact of the experience writing the essay this way: “I definitely value the water way more than I did before…I will always try and point out to everyone to conserve…water as much as they can, and also to spread awareness.”

This is the 18th year the Metro Water District has sponsored the annual essay contest. The outreach activity has challenged thousands of middle school students to think critically about conservation and protection of water resources in metro Atlanta. More than 600 students from across our 15-county region participated this year.

“We are proud of all 600 students who participated in our 18th annual contest,” said Metro Water District Chairman Charlotte Nash. “Their essays demonstrate a solid understanding of the critical role water plays in our lives every day, from the production of goods we use, to growing the food we eat. These winners represent the best-of-the-best in our region’s young environmental leaders.”

The annual essay contest is one of many educational outreach initiatives conducted by the Metro Water District to raise awareness about conservation efforts and the importance of water quality preservation in the Atlanta region. Visit My Drop Counts for tips on what you can do to conserve water and the Clean Water Campaign to learn how you can help prevent stormwater pollution.


2019 Essay Contest Winners

City of Atlanta – Emily Garrard, The Paideia School

Cherokee County – Grey Davis, E.T. Booth Middle School

Clayton County – Evan Veasey, Sequoyah Middle School

Cobb County – Elena West, William Benson Simpson Middle School

Coweta County – Evie Moss, Smokey Road Middle School

DeKalb County – Lyvia Huang, Chamblee Middle School

Douglas County – Tyler Johnson, Mason Creek Middle School

Fayette County – Annabella Tai, Crossroads Christian School

Forsyth County – Saanvi Warke, South Forsyth Middle School

Fulton County – Lola Leigh, Atlanta Jewish Academy

Hall County – Hailey VanLandingham, North Hall Middle School

Henry County – Dedrick Cooper, McDonough Middle School

Paulding County – Ella Herbert, East Paulding Middle School


About the Metropolitan North Georgia Water Planning District (Metro Water District)
The Metropolitan North Georgia Water Planning District is dedicated to developing comprehensive regional and watershed-specific water resources plans to be implemented by local governments in the 15-county metro Atlanta region, which includes Bartow, Cherokee, Clayton, Cobb, Coweta, DeKalb, Douglas, Fayette, Forsyth, Fulton, Gwinnett, Hall, Henry, Paulding and Rockdale counties. These plans conserve public water supplies, protect water quality and recreational value of the waters and minimize potential adverse impacts of development on waters in and downstream of the region. Learn more at