Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society
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It is imperative to map the strength and distribution of feedback in galaxies to understand how feedback affects galactic ecosystems. H2O masers act as indicators of energy injection into the interstellar medium. Our goal is to measure the strength and distribution of feedback traced by water masers in the Milky Way. We identify optical counterparts to H2O masers discovered by the HOPS survey. The distribution and luminosities of H2O masers in the Milky Way are determined using parallax measurements derived from the second Gaia Data Release. We provide evidence of a correlation between evolved stars, as traced by H2O masers, and the spiral structure of the Milky Way, suggesting a link between evolved stars and the Galactic environment.