Water. We use it every day. We cook and clean with it. It is essential to all life on this planet. And, according to water connoisseurs, Emporia’s water is some of the best in the world.
At the 23rd annual Berkeley Springs International Water Tasting in West Virginia, the city of Emporia’s water won the Best Tap Water prize. So why, given the massive importance of clean water, are Emporians so uninterested?
Water doesn’t spark the imagination like football does. Americans are fortunate enough to have had better than average sanitation systems for generations. We take that for granted more than we should. A title like “Best Tap Water” doesn’t attract visitors and students. No one stays for the water.
But we shouldn’t dismiss this achievement so quickly. We see infomercials on developing nations’ clean water scarcity and its implication to health and wellness. Water is crucial to the control of spreading diseases. Its sanitary function prevents instances of dysentery, among other things, which can be fatal. But that’s not something we see every day in Emporia, precisely because our city cares enough to provide us with superior, clean water.
Still, having clean water does not necessarily mean we have enough water. The snow may have eased the drought, but we are still facing prolonged periods of waterlessness. Emporia takes precautions against shortages with restricted lawn watering measures, but we must still be vigilant in preserving what we have.
It is appropriate, then, to boast about water. That we manage our reserve and utilize a state-of-the-art filtration system should be the envy of other communities. Anyone who grew up in a town with less-than-desirable water should have no problem touting this achievement back home.
Between classes, as you pass a water fountain, know that what springs from that spout is a substance so integral to your survival that you wouldn’t last very long without it. Know that this particular fountain provides some of the best water in the nation.
You’ll find yourself more appreciative of your time here and more willing to carry that appreciation wherever you go after graduation, and your drink will be a little sweeter by comparison.