Middle School Essay Contest

The Middle School Essay Contest challenges students to think critically about our region’s water resources and raises awareness for the conservation and preservation of water quality in metro Atlanta.

2023 Contest — Rep Your Watershed

The 22nd annual Metropolitan North Georgia Water Planning District Middle School Essay Contest is now open. Sixth, seventh, and eighth graders in Bartow, Cherokee, Clayton, Cobb, Coweta, DeKalb, Douglas, Fayette, Forsyth, Fulton, Gwinnett, Hall, Henry, Paulding and Rockdale counties are invited to participate in the Metro Water District’s annual essay contest.

Entry Deadline: October 20, 2023

Essay Topic

Metro Atlanta has a unique water story. You may know that water keeps metro Atlanta going and growing. It has been an important part of the success of our economy and central to our region’s culture and history, which are some of the many reasons we work so hard to protect our water. In fact, since the creation of the Metropolitan North Georgia Water Planning District over 20 years ago, the per capita water use has dropped by more than 30%, thanks in part, to the water conservation efforts of metro area residents, utilities, schools, and businesses.

For the 2023 Middle School Essay Contest, we want you to get to know the river basins your communities are located in.

The Metro Water District has created digital River Basin Profiles, an interactive tool that allows you to virtually explore the watersheds of the metro Atlanta region. Use the tool and your own research to help you learn more about your watershed and answer one of the following essay topics:

  1. Research the river basin where you live and write about what makes your river basin important to you and your community’s history, culture,
    or geography. What do you think is important for the people in your community to know about your river basin?
  2. Write about the importance of learning about our water resources in Georgia. How can you encourage others to learn about your river basin?
    How does learning about your river basin make you a better steward of water resources?

Middle School Essay Contest Information Flyer

Submission Guidelines

  • Eligibility: Sixth, seventh, and eighth graders in Bartow, Cherokee, Clayton, Cobb, Coweta, DeKalb, Douglas, Fayette, Forsyth, Fulton, Gwinnett, Hall, Henry, Paulding and Rockdale counties are invited to participate in the Metro Water District’s annual essay contest.
  • Essays must be typed. If there are special circumstances requiring a hand-written essay, please contact education@northgeorgiawater.org. 
  • Each essay must be submitted with an entry form. 
  • Student name and parent/guardian contact information must be clearly printed in order to win the contest.
  • Plagiarized essays will not be considered. 
  • All essays must be received no later than October 20, 2023. 
  • Essays must be submitted online at northgeorgiawater.org/essay. If there are any special circumstances requiring essays be submitted by mail, please contact education@northgeorgiawater.org. 

Read Middle School Essay Contest Guidelines


Entries will be judged on their creativity, clarity and content. Essays without complete name and contact information will be disqualified. A judging committee will be comprised of staff from the Metro Water District, utility partners, and Georgia Project WET. 

Review Judging Rubric.

Prizes and Awards Reception

One winner from each of the 15 counties as well as the City of Atlanta will receive $100. The District-wide winner will be selected from among the county and city winners to receive an additional $400 for a total prize of $500.

Submit Entry

For essay submissions, kindly complete and submit the appropriate form based on whether you are a student or an educator.

Teacher Resources

Teachers, are you interested in taking your students on a deeper dive into your water resources? Each year, we partner with Georgia Project WET to offer background information and an excellent Urban Watershed activity that relates to the topic. The 2021 supplemental Urban Watershed activity is What’s Your Standard? We also encourage teachers to check out the Project Wet website, Discover Water: The Role of Water in Our Lives.

Thank you, Georgia Project WET for provided excellent teaching resources for teachers in our region and state!

2022 Middle School Essay Contest Winners

Congratulations to our 2022 Middle School Essay Contest winners. More than 600 students explored the connections between the cycle of droughts and floods and your drinking water. Essays included creative ways we can be more resilient to more quickly recover from extreme weather events.

Jurisdiction Student Name School
City of Atlanta Stella Gruel The Galloway School
Bartow Oliver Kuykendall Woodland Middle School
Cherokee Cynthia Higginbotham Woodstock Middle School
Clayton David Thai Babb Middle School
Cobb Katelynn Silverio Simpson Middle School
Coweta Raina Patel Carolyn Barron Montessori School
DeKalb River Sawyer Chamblee Middle School
Douglas Isaac Riley Mason Creek Middle School
Fayette Andrew Cooke Crossroads Christian School
Forsyth Aarya Thakkar Piney Grove Middle School
Fulton Ahaan Dev Fulton Science Academy
Gwinnett Rianne Gbologah Coleman Middle School
Hall Sadie Wallis Lanier Christian Academy
Henry Sidney Spencer Union Grove Middle School
Paulding Rylie Bowman Austin Middle School
Rockdale Myles Fowler Conyers Middle School

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