Canada Again - The Public Water Initiative at University of Toronto

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I've noted it before that Canada and Canadians seem to be much more conscious about water issues than the US and Americans.  This may not be literally true, it's an impression based on reading literally hundreds of web entries and blog posts on water issues over the past couple of years.  The story below is another great example.

Public Waster Initiative at U of T is a multi-partisan student group working with different organizations to advocate for sustainable, clean & publicly accessible water sources on campus. We are currently advocating for a resolution to end the sale and distribution of bottled / commercialized water for campus facilities, events and venues AND improve access to safe, clean & sustainable tap water. Email: pwi.uoft@gmail.com.

Here is a great piece that appears in UeaT  (University of Toronto Food Service website):

The life and death nature of water for survival of all creatures means that it should remain in public hands and consumed at environmentally sound rates… “It is deeply concerning that the 1 in 3 Canadians who primarily drink bottled water as their source of drinking water, are consuming an unregulated and environmentally harmful product” says Joe Cressy, Campaigns Coordinator of the Polaris Institute and co-author of the report: Murky Waters – The Urgent Need for Health and Environmental Regulations of the Bottled Water Industry, available for free from the Polaris Institute.

Concerns Against Bottled Water:

Health & Economics:- bottled water plants are inspected about once every 3 YEARS - tap water is tested at least 4-5 times per DAY - since 2000, there’s been 29 recalls of 49 bottled water products in Canada - Health Canada recommends that you DON’T drink bottled water purchased for more than 1 year - the industry itself doesn’t recommend re-using their own bottles - bottled water corporations pay a VERY CHEAP fee of $3.79/one million litres… which is bottled and sold at up to a 2000X mark-up compared to tap water – more than gas! Environmentally:- 40% of the bottles are NOT recycled - it takes 10X amount of water to create the bottle than what’s in it - it is as much as 2000X more energy intensive than tap water - creates 150X the amount of GHGs than tap water - Dasani & Aquafina have now admitted that their water is from the tap - Bottled water corporations PUMP MILLIONS of litres of groundwater per DAY distrupting local ecosystems and ground water supplies of small communities (ground water is not renewable, when Nestle pumps on average of 3.6 million litres PER DAY, it is a concern because almost half of Canadians rely on groundwater and we have yet to map out how much we have left)

Public Accountability:- aggressive marketing now has 1 in 3 Canadians believing bottled water is better than tap when the complete opposite may be true - it has undermined public confidence in the publicly funded tap water system affordable to all - support of bottled water is support of commercialization of a dwindling resource without accountability towards sustainability, health and water as a human right first - there are water shortages in every single developed country including Canada You can follow PWI's work on their blog.