Resources Of Water Essay Contest

Water Essay Contest Winners Honored at State Capitol

(Atlanta, December 21, 2016) – Students Emma Clyburn and Madelyn Wortel took home the top honors in the 2016 Middle School Essay Contest for the Metropolitan North Georgia Water Planning District (Metro Water District).

Ms. Clyburn, an eighth-grader at Lanier Christian Academy in Hall County, was the district-wide first place essay winner, and Ms. Wortel, an eighth grader at South Forsyth Middle School in Forsyth County, was the district-wide runner-up. The annual contest challenges students to think critically about protecting and conserving water resources in the metro Atlanta region.

2016 marks the 15th year of the Metro Water District Essay Contest. The contest invites sixth, seventh and eighth graders in the City of Atlanta and Bartow, Cherokee, Clayton, Cobb, Coweta, DeKalb, Douglas, Fayette, Fulton, Forsyth, Gwinnett, Hall, Henry, Paulding and Rockdale counties to participate in the contest.

Winners were honored with a reception at the Georgia State Capitol on December 14. Winners selected from each county received prizes of $100, and the first place winner received an additional $400. Over 1700 students participated in this year’s contest.

Essay Topic – Water Conservation
This year, middle school students were asked to write a 300-500 word essay on the topic: Why is water conservation important to you and to our region?

The winning essay by Ms. Clyburn drew on her experience living in another country: “For four and a half years my family and I lived in Swaziland where water was considered something very precious and not something taken for granted,” said Ms. Clyburn. And Ms. Wortel, in her essay, focused on small steps that can make a big difference. “Small changes made on a daily basis to conserve water will ensure our water supply is abundant in the future,” said Ms. Wortel.

“Choosing the contest winners is always a challenge because all of the essays display a genuine awareness about the importance of water conservation,” said Kostoula Vallianos, principal education program specialist with the Metro Water District. “This year’s essays were particularly timely since the region is experiencing a drought that has resulted in the Georgia Environmental Protection Division declaring a Level 2 Drought Response.”

The annual essay contest is one of many educational outreach initiatives conducted by the Metro Water District to raise awareness about the region’s conservation efforts and the importance of the preservation of water quality in metro Atlanta. To learn more, 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.


2016 Essay Contest Winners
City of AtlantaMarcus Johnson7Inman Middle School
Bartow CountyTristan Collins6South Central Middle School
Cherokee CountyCarter MacDonald7Mill Creek Middle School
Clayton CountyAriel Henderson8North Clayton Middle School
Cobb County Katherine Barrios6Barber Middle School
Coweta CountyThomas Becker6Madras Middle School
DeKalb County Gray Hamby6Renfroe Middle School
Douglas CountyVictoria Toups8Harvester Christian Academy
Fayette CountyTito Alofe6Rising Starr Middle School
Forsyth County and District Runner-upMadelyn Wortel6South Forsyth Middle School
Fulton CountySadie Howard7Holy Innocents’ Episcopal School
Gwinnett County Jackson Spooner8North Gwinnett Middle School
Hall County and District-wide winnerEmma Clyburn8Lanier Christian Academy
Henry CountySierra Riley8Woodland Middle School
Paulding CountyMaria Maldonado6J.A. Dobbins Middle School
Rockdale CountyKennedy Williams8Memorial 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 values of the waters and minimize potential adverse impacts of development on waters in and downstream of the region.

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Middle School Essay Contest

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

2017 marked the 16th year of the Metro Water District Middle School Essay Contest. Sixth, seventh and eighth graders in the 15 county metro area are invited to participate in the contest.

2017 Middle School Essay Contest County Winners

Congratulations to all our contest winners. Over 1200 essays were submitted for the 2017 contest. Thank you to all participants and for the support of parents, teachers and principals! Without the support of our schools, our contest would not be a success!




City of

Cheyenne GeorgeKIPP Strive Academy



Anya HigginsSouth Central
Middle School



Abby TurnerE.T. Booth
Middle School



Faith UdehKendrick Middle School


Cobb & District-Wide Winner

Jolee NorthropHightower Trail
Middle School



Reese RobertsonSmokey Road
Middle School



Abenezer SefiwChapel Hill
Middle School


Fayette & District-Wide Runner Up

Sanika KumarJ.C. Booth
Middle School



Skanda BharadwajSouth Forsyth
Middle School



Talhah KhanAmana Academy



Caleb RobertsonNorth Gwinnett
Middle School



Owen TracyLanier
Christian Academy



Aparna GanesanEagles Landing
Middle School



Blake HartJ.A. Dobbins
Middle School


About the Contest

Middle school students were asked to write a 300-500 word essay on the following topic: Explain why water quantity (how much water we have) and water quality (how clean the water is) are equally important.

Each winner will receive $100 and a District-wide winner will be chosen from among the county and City of Atlanta winners to receive an additional prize of $400. Winners will be honored at a reception at the State Capitol.

Email for questions.

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