Efforts to protect and provide clean water highlighted by bottled water industry on World Water Day
March 22, 2018
Alexandria, VA – Members of the International Bottled Water Association (IBWA) proudly recognize World Water Day 2018 by highlighting the importance of protecting water resources and providing clean drinking water.
“Protecting and preserving water resources has always been a part of the bottled water industry’s mission, and we continue our efforts to help ensure that all water resources are sustainable for future generations,” says Jill Culora, IBWA’s vice president of communications. “Bottled water companies are good stewards of the environment and are continuously developing efficient ways to use and conserve this critical resource.”
The bottled water industry is a minimal user of water. Bottled water production accounts for just 0.01 percent of all water used in the United States. To put that figure into perspective, total U.S. bottled water consumption is about 18 billion gallons of water per year, which is the amount of tap water New York City uses in just 2.5 weeks, Culora says.
Bottled water has the lowest water footprint of all packaged drinks. It uses only 1.32 liters of water (including the 1 liter consumed) to produce a 1 liter product, according to a 2015 Antea Group study for IBWA.
This year’s United Nations World Water Day theme is “Nature for Water,” which is about exploring nature-based solutions to water challenges faced in the 21st century. One of these challenges is reducing waste in waterways. The International Bottled Water Association is concerned about this too and recently partnered with Keep America Beautiful to work on educating consumers about recycling, which will help keep recyclables out of waterways.
Water sustainability is very important to all bottled water companies when constructing a plant, due to the long-term business investment required to build it. The ability to ensure the availability of the source water (whether from groundwater or a public water system) and protect the land and environment around the source and bottling facility is just as important. Once a bottling plant is built, water use and withdrawals are closely monitored by the company.
Bottled water companies are continuously dependent upon a safe, fresh supply of water. Contrary to the many false claims, they do not “drain aquifers” or use more water than can be replenished. Constructing bottled water plants are a very costly endeavor and is a business decision made after extensive analysis of source water sustainability and plant impact.
“Bottled water is just one of thousands of food, beverage, and other commercial water users,” Culora says. “The bottled water industry actively supports comprehensive water use and groundwater management policies that are science-based, multi-jurisdictional, treat all users equitably, and provide for future needs of this important resource.”
The industry also recognizes that clean drinking water is unavailable or limited in many parts of the world. Bottled water companies regularly assist communities around the world by providing clean, sanitary drinking water in places where insufficient water delivery infrastructure poses serious health risks. A growing number of bottled water companies have designated a portion of their income to support global programs, which help establish long-term solutions for the provision of water for drinking, sanitation, and hygiene in underserved and developing communities.
For more information about bottled water, visit bottledwater.org.
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.