OPINION: The Importance of Water Quality and Quantity


Rain Bleess, Reporter

Whether you’re a human, animal, or lump of moss, you need water to live. Students have the privilege of having plenty of clean drinking water, while other students outside the district don’t have that luxury.

“Efforts to eliminate lead in school drinking water got a huge boost on Friday, as Missouri Gov. Mike Parson signed off on legislation requiring testing and also gave his approval to $27 million in federal funds to help schools install filters,” an article from missouriindependent.com says.

Having good water quality is vastly important to one’s health. According to epa.gov drinking water with unsafe levels of contaminants “can cause health effects, such as gastrointestinal illnesses, nervous system or reproductive effects, and chronic diseases such as cancer.”

Instead of solely focusing on political issues, the school board should enforce the proper cleaning of water fountains. Multiple water fountains in the school have had bits of food in the drain that have been left there for days. Not to mention that I’ve gotten a sore throat from the water fountains on numerous occasions.

However, good water quality means nothing unless there is enough of it for everyone to drink. There are plenty of water fountains around the high school to drink out of, yet some of them are either hard to drink out of or don’t work at all. The school should have some way of reporting fountains that don’t work so they can be fixed.

Water fountains in the high school aren’t the extent of water quantity problems, however. Almost all of the water in the United States comes from either surface sources or aquifers, both of which get affected by droughts. 

A majority of western Kansas is entrenched in heavy droughts that have extreme effects on both water quality and water quantity. According to an article from cdc.gov, the lack of water can cause issues with not only drinking water, but the water used to cultivate crops and raise animals. 

“Dry years lead to increased pumping demands, primarily for irrigation, which in turn typically cause greater declines in water levels.” An article from news.ku.edu said.

The water levels in the High Plains Aquifer have dropped significantly, an article from news.ku.edu said “In Southwest Kansas GMD 3, average groundwater levels dropped 2.17 feet in 2021, the largest decline in the region since 2013, when groundwater levels fell 2.43 feet. The region experienced drops of 1.25 feet in 2020 and 0.80 feet in 2019.”

In areas with bad water quality, a slightly expensive solution is to buy large packs of bottled water in grocery stores. If you’re looking to conserve water in your community an article from portal.ct.gov has an in-depth list.