21st Annual Metro Water District Middle School Essay Contest Winners Announced

The Metropolitan North Georgia Water Planning District (Metro Water District) announced the District-wide winner for the 21st annual middle school essay contest, Riley Bowman of Austin Middle School, as well as 15 other regional winners. This year’s contest focused on impacts to water quality and quantity in the metro Atlanta region in the face of more intense cycles of droughts and floods.

The winning essay  explains that there are many ways to help our region’s water be resilient to climate change, whether by encouraging local governments to improve infrastructure, or conserving water at home.

“Not only should you encourage your local city to improve infrastructure, but you can follow steps at home to help,” Bowman said in her essay. “Water is the most essential element for the preservation of life.”

Bowman received a $500 prize for winning the contest, which asked entrants to write a 300-500 word essay addressing their choice of two topics. Students had the option of 1) researching the last major drought or flooding event in metro Atlanta and describe how local communities and businesses adapted to the conditions; or 2) describe how more extreme drought and flooding events affect our access to clean, safe water, and how the region can be more water resilient in the face of a changing climate.

Ahaan Dev, a student at Fulton Science Academy in Fulton County, was named the District-wide runner-up. His essay focuses on the aftermath of floods and droughts, and how we can learn to be more resilient in recovering from these natural disasters while addressing the root causes.

“In the U.S. we assume we will have clean drinking water, but it should not be taken for granted. It is actually a precious resource,” Dev said.

In the 21 years that the Metro Water District has hosted the annual essay contest, this outreach activity has challenged thousands of middle school students to think critically about the conservation and the protection of water resources in the region. This year, more than 600 students from across the 15-county region participated.

“We are really impressed with this year’s selection of essays,” said Metro Water District Chairman Glenn Page. “The participants’ essays highlight the importance of resiliency in our water system, so we can continue to ensure everyone has access to clean, safe water.”

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 how you can conserve water and the Clean Water Campaign to learn how you can help prevent stormwater pollution.

2022 Essay Contest Winners

·  Stella Gruel, the Galloway School, City of Atlanta

·  Oliver Augustus Kuykendall, Woodland Middle School, Bartow County

·  Cynthia Higginbotham, Woodstock Middle School, Cherokee County

·  David Thai, Babb Middle School, Clayton County

·  Katelynn Silverio, Simpson Middle School, Cobb County

·  Raina Patel, Carolyn Barron Montessori School, Coweta County

·  River Sawyer, Chamblee Middle School, DeKalb County

·  Isaac Riley, Mason Creek Middle School, Douglas County

·  Andrew Cooke, Crossroads Christian School, Fayette County

·  Aarya Thakkar, Piney Grove Middle School, Forsyth County

·  District Runner-Up – Ahaan Dev, Fulton Science Academy, Fulton County

·  Rianne Gbologah, Coleman Middle School, Gwinnett County

·  Sadie Wallis, Lanier Christian Academy, Hall County

·  Sidney Spencer, Union Grove Middle School, Henry County

·  District-wide Winner – Riley Bowman, Austin Middle School, Paulding County

·  Myles Fowler, Conyers Middle School, Rockdale County


About the Metropolitan North Georgia Water Planning District (Metro Water District)
The Metropolitan North Georgia Water Planning District is dedicated to developing a comprehensive regional and watershed-specific Water Resources Management Plan 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. The Plan conserves public water supplies, protects water quality and recreational value of the waters and minimizes potential adverse impacts of development on waters in and downstream of the region. Learn more at www.northgeorgiawater.org.