IBWA Supports ‘Protect Your Groundwater Day’

ALEXANDRIA, Va. — The International Bottled Water Association (IBWA) is proud to be a sponsor of Protect Your Groundwater Day<http://www.ngwa.org/Events-Education/groundwater-day/Pages/default.aspx>, September 10, 2013. Protect Your Groundwater Day is a time to educate all Americans about what they can do to preserve and protect groundwater to meet human and environmental needs.

Spearheaded by the National Groundwater Association<http://www.ngwa.org/Pages/default.aspx> (NGWA), taking action to protect groundwater resources is an important responsibility for all users of water resources, including agriculture, public water systems, businesses (including bottled water companies), and households.

The bottled water industry recognizes the importance of protecting the quantity and quality of the world’s water and already engages in the two fundamental categories of groundwater protection promoted by NGWA; keeping groundwater safe from contamination and using it wisely by not wasting it.  Bottled water companies that produce groundwater products (e.g., spring water, artesian water) are entirely dependent upon a safe, fresh supply of constantly recharged and replenished water for their livelihood.  Bottled water companies that use groundwater sources go to great lengths to protect the land surrounding their springs to prevent any contamination.  Bottled water is also the highest use of water, since 100 percent is intended for human consumption.  According to its 2012 annual industry benchmarking report, the Beverage Industry Environmental Roundtable (BIER) finds that on average about 1.47 liters of water is used in the production of one liter of bottled water.  The bottled water industry’s water use ratio is the smallest of all beverage production operations tracked by BIER, which includes beer, bottled water, carbonated soft drinks, distilled spirits, juices, non-carbonated beverages, and wine.

According to the Drinking Water Research Foundation, annual bottled water production accounts for less than 0.02 percent of the total groundwater withdrawn in the United States.  Even though it is a minimal groundwater user and is only one of among thousands of food, beverage and commercial water users, the bottled water industry actively supports comprehensive ground water management policies that are science-based, multi-jurisdictional, treat all users equitably, and provide for future needs of this important resource.

While 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.  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 bottled water industry continues to demonstrate solid environmental leadership when it comes to water conservation and efficiency.  Bottled water companies utilize and manage water resources in a highly efficient and responsible manner by investing in broadly accepted science and technology to improve water quality, and strengthening water conservation practices.

To learn more about Protect Your Groundwater Day, including ways that you can help protect and conserve our groundwater resources, please visit NGWA’s website<http://www.ngwa.org/Events-Education/groundwater-day/Pages/default.aspx>.  If you rely on a well for your water, please visit WellOwner.org<http://wellowner.org/>, NGWA’s website that provides helpful information to well owners.

About The International Bottled Water Association

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<http://www.bottledwater.org/>) for more information about bottled water and a list of members’ brands.