Annual Metro Water District Essay Contest Winners Honored for Highlighting Importance of Water During Pandemic

(ATLANTA – January 21, 2021) “Wash your hands.” It’s a focal message we’ve heard again and again during the COVD-19 pandemic — a principal strategy for keeping ourselves safe. The importance of clean, safe water during the pandemic is the focus of the grand-prize winning essay of this year’s Metropolitan North Georgia Water Planning District’s (Metro Water District) middle school essay contest—written by Jack Schuman, a student at High Meadows School in Fulton County. Essay winners were announced today during a virtual awards ceremony.

The winning essay noted that water is critical for cleanliness, that it helps keep our hospitals running, and that it drives our economy. “If you only take one thing from this essay,” the author notes, “it would be that water is like a food chain. When something is out of place it throws off the whole system.”

Schuman received a $500 prize in the contest, which asked entrants to write a 300-500 word essay addressing the theme “Water is Essential.” Students had the option of either making the case that access to clean, safe water is more important than ever during the COVID-19 pandemic or researching and writing a detailed essay about an essential water job.

Hannah Cooke, a student at Crossroads Christian School in Fayette County, was named the districtwide runner-up. Her essay described a job in the water industry: spatial analyst. Hannah interviewed her cousin, who interned as a spatial analyst with the Clayton County Water Authority. She wrote, “His work makes other people’s jobs easier. He helps water get to our homes, schools, and workplaces by monitoring water quality and making sure that others have the tools they need to fix problems and monitor systems.”

In the 19 years that the Metro Water District has sponsored 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 650 students from across the 15-county region participated.

“Hats off to this year’s essay contest participants,” said Metro Water District Chairman Glenn Page. “Their work demonstrates an understanding that safe, clean water is absolutely essential for the public health and safety of us all, and that it’s the critical work of water professionals regionwide that ensures our continued access to this vital resource.”

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.

2020 Essay Contest Winners

·       Tessa Stuart, The Galloway School, City of Atlanta

·       Logan Nix, Lyndon Academy, Cherokee County

·       Anthony Garou, Eddie White Middle School, Clayton County

·       Ella Chesser, North Cobb Christian, Cobb County

·       Jordin Guy, Arnall Middle School, Coweta County

·       Abeille Goldstein, Waldorf School of Atlanta, DeKalb County

·       Elizabeth Montcalm, Mason Creek Middle School, Douglas County

·       District-Wide Runner-up: Hannah Cooke, Crossroads Christian School, Fayette County

·       Palak Mor, South Forsyth Middle School, Forsyth County

·       District-Wide Winner: Jack Schuman, High Meadows School, Fulton County

·       Ranger Welch, Trickum Middle School, Gwinnett County

·       Daniel Whiting, Lanier Christian Academy, Hall County

·       Brody Spann, Strong Rock Christian School, Henry County

·       Emma Larsen, Austin Middle School, Paulding County

·       Aadith Reddy, Young Americans Christian 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 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


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