The Kansas (Kaw) River is important to our everyday life. Many homes, schools and businesses use river water that is purified by their city water treatment plant. You drink, cook and wash with this water.  Also, waste water from toilets, garbage disposals and washing machines is treated by the city and returned to the Kaw.  "Everyone lives down stream" describes how important clean water is to our society and the plants and animals that depend on the river habitat.