IBWA Supports “Protect Your Groundwater Day” On September 14, 2010

For Immediate Release
September 13, 2010

ALEXANDRIA, VA – The International Bottled Water Association (IBWA) is proud to be a sponsor of “Protect Your Groundwater Day”, which is being held on Tuesday, September 14, 2010. The annual commemoration marking our country’s need to protect and maintain water from underground aquifers is spearheaded by the National Groundwater Association (NGWA) in Westerville, Ohio. Groundwater is important to protect because 95 percent of all available freshwater comes from underground sources, according to NGWA and the U.S. Geological Survey. Many public water systems draw at least a portion of their water supply from groundwater, so protecting this renewable resource also helps ensure the municipal water supplies are safe and treatment costs are reduced.

For families, businesses or farms relying on wells, it is doubly important to protect groundwater resources. Well owners must manage their own water systems, so it is paramount to protect underground water from contamination and to use the water wisely by not wasting it.

On average, America use 79.6 billion gallons of groundwater per day, according to NGWA – that’s the equivalent of every man, woman and child in our country each consuming 2,923 12-ounce glasses of water every day.

Agricultural irrigation is far and away the largest user of groundwater in America, consuming 53.5 billion gallons of groundwater every day. Spring and artesian bottled waters are well-known users of groundwater, but withdrawals for bottled water production amount to only 2/100 of one percent of America’s total renewable groundwater supplies. This small amount is mitigated by constant recharge from rain and snow, but it is still very important that groundwater sources be protected and free from potential contaminants.

IBWA members are good stewards of the environment. The bottled water industry uses groundwater as its predominant source for bottling. 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.  When developing and using water resources, it is essential that use is balanced with the replenishment cycle and the requirements of the regional demand for the resource.

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. The entire aquifer must be viewed within the context of science supported by empirical data. Advanced research techniques and the collection of baseline data of groundwater resource characteristics and source use must be utilized to assist in the analysis and design of effective groundwater management policies.

According to Tom Lauria, Vice President of Communications at IBWA, “Protecting groundwater with both caution and conservation helps reduce the risks to all water supplies, both surface and underground. ‘Protecting Your Groundwater Day’ is an important reminder to keep the area around underground water withdrawal sites safe from polluting chemicals. And, as always, use all sources of water, including municipal water systems, wisely.”

Contact: Tom Lauria
703-647-4609 or 703-887-4056

# # #

The International Bottled Water Association (IBWA) is the authoritative source of information about all types of bottled waters. 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, and state governments to set stringent standards for safe, high quality bottled water products. In addition to FDA and state regulations, the Association requires member bottlers to 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 an annual plant inspection by an independent, third party organization. Consumers can contact IBWA at 1-800-WATER-11 or log onto IBWA's web site (www.bottledwater.org) for more information about bottled water and a list of members' brands. Media inquiries can be directed to VP of Communications Tom Lauria at 703-647-4609 or [email protected].