Bottled water industry supports comprehensive groundwater resource management
International Bottled Water Association (IBWA) President and CEO Joe Doss presented testimony to the U.S. House of Representatives Domestic Policy Subcommittee Government Reform and Oversight Committee about the bottled water industry’s minimal use of groundwater resources to produce a healthy, safe and convenient packaged beverage product.
According to a 2005 study by the Drinking Water Research Foundation (DWRF), the bottled water industry accounts for only 0.02% of all groundwater withdrawals in the U.S. Doss also addressed bottled water industry support of comprehensive groundwater resource management.
“IBWA member bottlers recognize the critical importance of environmental conservation and stewardship of all water resources and employ conservation and stewardship practices to their use and management of groundwater resources,” Doss said. “This is achieved through the use of monitoring wells and environmental assessments of their sources to help ensure both quantity and quality of the source, are often a part of local/regional water stewardship partnerships on aquifer protection.”
Doss also stated, “Groundwater management laws and regulations must be comprehensive, science based, multi-jurisdictional, treat all users equitably and balance current uses with future needs.” According to Doss, from the perspective of water management programs, the bottled water industry should be treated no differently than other beverage, food processing and other manufacturing operations.
“To single out bottled water from other food products--not to mention thousands of other consumer products that use water as an ingredient or in production--will not further the sustainability of water resources and is not in the best interest of consumers,” Doss said.
In his testimony Doss also stated that there is a need for more and better data on the aquifers throughout the U.S. in order to assist state authorities in managing available water resources.
A copy of Doss’ testimony is available on the IBWA website at www.bottledwater.org.
The bottled water industry has been a primary supporter of comprehensive state groundwater management legislation enacted in recent years in Maine, Michigan, New Hampshire, Pennsylvania, Vermont and Wisconsin. IBWA supported the reporting of groundwater user withdrawals and establishing a regulatory framework to evaluate the impact of all commercial/industrial withdrawals.