Giving NPCs memories can go a long way to making a more realistic and enjoyable game world.
This is not a submission about creating NPCs, this is about presenting them. Not everyone walks around with a different accent, strange tic, or catchphrase, our memories are what make us different.
To purify the water from a certain river the monks have carved a section of the river that goes over a stone bed. Through holy carvings of gods, godesses, and holy symbols and then the river flowing over them, it purifies the water making it safe for drinking and/or makes it holy water. For rivers that do not have natural rock bottoms, large smooth stones can be carved and added to the water to fully cover the bottom.