Bottled water industry promotes awareness and protection of the nation’s groundwater
International Bottled Water Association
March 5, 2017
Alexandria, VA – Nearly half of all Americans depend on groundwater for their drinking water supply—from either a public source or a private well. This fact underscores the need to promote and protect the stewardship of America’s water resources, the International Bottled Water Association (IBWA) said today in recognizing National Groundwater Awareness Week, March 5 - 11, 2017.
Groundwater flows beneath the earth’s surface and is constantly being replenished. Around 44 percent of the U.S. population rely on fresh groundwater, and a staggering 79.6 billion gallons are used per day for public supply, private supply, irrigation, livestock, manufacturing, mining, thermoelectric power, and other purposes.
While the bottled water industry uses a very small amount of groundwater—just 0.02 percent of all groundwater withdrawn in the US —compared to other water users, the industry cares deeply about protecting all water sources.
“The bottled water industry has always recognized the importance of protecting the quantity and quality of the world’s water. Bottled water companies that produce groundwater products (e.g., spring water, artisan water) are entirely dependent upon a safe, fresh supply of constantly recharged and replenished water for their livelihood,” says Joe Doss, IBWA president and CEO. “The bottled water industry is dedicated to demonstrating solid environmental leadership when it comes to water conservation and efficiency. Bottled water companies utilize and manage water resources in a highly efficient and responsible manner by investing in broadly-accepted science and technology to improve water quality, and strengthening water conservation practices.”
Even with its continuing growth and increased consumption, bottled water still has the smallest water and energy use footprint of any packaged beverage. The results of a 2014 IBWA benchmarking study show that the amount of water and energy used to produce bottled water products in North America is less than all other types of packaged beverages. On average, only 1.32 liters of water (including the liter of water consumed) and 0.24 mega joules of energy are used to produce 1 liter of finished bottled water, says Mr. Doss.
National Groundwater Awareness Week promotes actions that all citizens can do to help protect groundwater from becoming contaminated. The most important steps include:
• Always use licensed or certified water well drillers and pump installers when a well is constructed or serviced, or when the pump is installed or serviced.
• Keep hazardous materials away from any well. Never dump such materials, motor oil, or anything else that could impact water quality onto the land surface or into a hole, pit, or surface water supply.
“Many people take our nation’s water resources for granted,” says Mr. Doss. “But this important awareness week reminds people to reflect on groundwater's value and its contributions to our lives.”
Even though bottled water is a minimal groundwater user and is only one of among thousands of food, beverage, and commercial water users, the bottled water industry actively supports comprehensive groundwater management policies that are science-based, multi-jurisdictional, treat all users equitably, and provide for future needs of this important resource, says Mr. Doss.
While groundwater is a renewable natural resource that is replenished through the hydrologic cycle, the duration of the replenishment cycle is influenced by weather patterns, recharge areas and characteristics, geologic settings, and other site-specific factors. The primary effort of protecting and managing groundwater resources must be based on a solid foundation of appropriate and reasonably applied science. The flux, flow, recharge rate, surface water influence and impact, zone of contribution, and other factors affecting a groundwater resource must be analyzed and considered in the design of a management plan, he says.
To learn more about National Ground Water Awareness Week, including ways that you can help protect and conserve our groundwater resources, please visit NGWA’s website. For information on well water, please visit WellOwner.org.
To learn more about bottled water, please visit IBWA’s website at www.bottledwater.org.
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The International Bottled Water Association (IBWA) is the authoritative source of information about all types of bottled waters, including spring, mineral, purified, artesian, and sparkling. Founded in 1958, IBWA's membership includes U.S. and international bottlers, distributors and suppliers. IBWA is committed to working with the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), which regulates bottled water as a packaged food product, to set comprehensive and stringent standards for safe, high-quality bottled water products.
In addition to FDA regulations, IBWA member bottlers must adhere to the IBWA Bottled Water Code of Practice, which mandates additional standards and practices that in some cases are more stringent than federal and state regulations. A key feature of the IBWA Bottled Water Code of Practice is a mandatory annual plant inspection by an independent, third-party organization.
IBWA is proud to be a supporter of Drink Up, an initiative of former First Lady Michelle Obama and the Partnership for a Healthier America (PHA), which encourages Americans to drink more water more often – whether from the tap, a filter, or in a bottle. Choosing water is always the healthy choice.