Bottled Water Association Launches PR Campaign

Stung by recent setbacks, the International Bottled Water Association (IBWA) has launched an advertising campaign to promote its product.

Stung by recent setbacks, the International Bottled Water Association (IBWA) has launched an advertising campaign to promote its product.

San Francisco and Salt Lake City have halted municipal purchases of bottled water for employees as unnecessary expenses. In June, the U.S. Conference of Mayors passed a resolution urging a study of the environmental impacts (plastic containers) of bottled water and praising the high quality of municipal tap water.

And in July, Pepsi-Cola Co. yielded to pressure from environmental activists and said that it would clarify, on labels on Aquafina bottles, that the product is tap water that has had extra purification.

IBWA said the bottled water industry has been the target of “misguided and confusing criticism by activist groups and a handful of mayors who have presented misinformation and subjective criticism as facts.”

IBWA President Joseph Doss said, “Some groups seek to pit bottled water against public drinking water systems. But bottled water is all about beverage choice, available to consumers in all walks of life who choose, or rely upon, bottled water for refreshment and hydration. When it comes to bottled water or tap water, most people drink both, depending on the circumstances.”

Doss said the bottled water industry relies on safe, quality ground water resources as well as municipal water systems. “We are interested in strengthening, not undermining, municipal water sources and bottled water sales have nothing to do with tap water infrastructure funding or drinking water system improvements.”

NRDC Warns Of Global Warming

Water officials should prepare for future drought conditions, the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC) has warned.

Its study on the effect of global warming on water supplies in the West said, “The latest global warming science is clear: drought-like conditions are likely to increase. This means that conservation and water use efficiency will become our most important sources of new water supply.”

NRDC said in the last eight years, the Colorado River, which supplies water to parts of Arizona, California, Colorado, Nevada, New Mexico, Utah and Wyoming, has received just over half its average flow. Southern California is experiencing its driest year on record.

The study said global warming would reduce spring and summer water flows (less mountain snowpack would be available to melt). Hotter summer temperatures also will cause more water to evaporate from watersheds, rivers and reservoirs.

NRDC said conservation is the best water option. It said Los Angeles water usage has been steady for 30 years, despite large population growth, due to investments in low-flow showerheads and toilets.

It said cities should promote drought tolerant landscaping, since half of all urban water is used on lawns and landscapes. It said treated wastewater could be used for landscape and industrial applications.

The report said traditional approaches such as dams, diversions and groundwater pumping will be less effective in a warmer, drier climate.

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