JOPLIN, Mo. — Missouri American Water is opening the process to make clean and safe water available in public spaces.

Local schools, cities, and nonprofits are encouraged to apply for the 2023 Hydration Station Grant Program.

Recipients of the $1,200 grant will be able to purchase drinking fountains and bottle-filling stations for their organization.

The utility notes 60 million plastic bottles end up in landfills every day, so hydration stations can help curb that statistic.

“We’re really trying to promote people using those reusable containers for drinking water versus going to the store and buying a bottle because ultimately that’s just going to end in the landfill. And it takes so many years for those to break down, and they don’t ever completely break down. So I think just making people aware of the environmental impact of such a simple daily choice is very important,” said Christie Barnhart, MO American Water Senior External Communications Manager.

About 20 organizations received the grant last year.

Applications for this year’s grant will be accepted through April 30th.

Applicants must receive their tap water service from Missouri American Water.

You can find information on how to get involved on Missouri American Water’s website, here.