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Do You Know Where Your Water Comes From?

Do You Know Where Your Water Comes From?


You are part of a regional network of consumers that share a water source

A lot happens for you to be able to turn on your faucet every day. Your home is part of a large system of water sourcing, treatment, and community waterways, and understanding these systems will make you a more responsible steward of this valuable resource.



Think back to your grade school science class and what you learned about the continuous life cycle of water – words like evaporation, condensation, precipitation – sound familiar? Those simple concepts are even more relevant to you now as you pay the utility bills, operate a business, and do other adult things.

Here’s a refresher course on the elements of the water cycle:

  1. Water takes many paths as it moves on, under, and above the earth’s surface
  2. Surface water is what you see in lakes, rivers, streams, and ponds
  3. When the temperature rises, surface water can evaporate and turn into vapor
  4. The vapor condensates to form clouds in the sky
  5. With clouds comes rain (or precipitation) when that water falls to the surface
  6. Rain returns to a body of water, or percolates into groundwater
  7. When the water rejoins a body of surface water, the cycle continues

The lifecycle of the water coming from your tap is cyclical, too. Cities take from a freshwater source, treat it, and distribute anywhere water is used. You use that water to brush your teeth, shower, clean, you name it. Once it goes down the drain, it flows through the city water system to a wastewater treatment plant. Here the water is treated and sent back to the original freshwater source until the cycle begins again.



Both in nature and in our city infrastructure we see water access points: sprinklers, faucets, even rain. What we often don’t see or think about daily is the bigger picture: the watershed we are a part of.

A watershed is an area of land that drains into a specific body of water like a river, stream, or lake. It includes everything within its borders: land, air, plants and animals, cities, farms, and even people. There are 20 major watersheds across the United States, each with its own smaller watersheds within its borders.

For example, the Colorado River that runs through the Grand Canyon in Northern Arizona is part of the Lower Colorado Watershed. That means that people in Arizona and some parts of Utah and New Mexico get their water from the main water source of that watershed: the Colorado River.

Each watershed comes with its own threats and challenges– from droughts to flooding. It is important to be aware of the ecosystem of your watershed to protect the regions in which you live and work. Clean water depends on all of us being responsible water users and protecting our environment.

Find your watershed and learn more about the threats and challenges to your supply at

Water is used in so many capacities, it is more important than ever that water users take great care with that responsibility. Progress looks like: reducing freshwater use, recycling water where you can, and being more mindful of water use in your daily activities.



Mister cares about the communities we serve and our impact on those ecosystems. Water is a finite resource, and we are committed to be responsible water users, both within the four walls of our locations and as members of our greater communities. In all 400+ of our locations, we return water safely to the city by using eco-friendly chemicals and recycling water to reduce freshwater use.

We’re not just a business: we’re a team of over 6,000 strong that live, work, and go to school in the cities where we operate. As we continue our journey of continuous improvement in our sustainability practices, we aim to educate others to protect our environment for future generations to thrive.

Learn more about our partnership with the Project WET Foundation and watch for more water education across all our channels.


The Mister Car Wash family is made up of 1.7 million members and 6,000+ employees across 400 locations nationwide, and we’re growing every day. Check back soon to hear some of our favorite member stories and learn about what it means to be part of our evolving community.