Trade group’s ‘valuing water’ statement underscores industry’s role as good stewards

March 24, 2021

Few industries can say they value water as much as the bottled water industry.

The International Bottled Water Association made that statement on World Water Day 2021, which was celebrated on March 22

Water source conservation and protection measures are vital parts of any bottled water business strategy, IBWA observed. Building a bottling plant is a very costly endeavor and is a business decision that is made only after extensive analysis of the water source’s sustainability and the plant’s potential environmental impact to ensure the long-term viability of water sources.

“Bottled water companies have a long-held practice of effectively and responsibly protecting and managing water sources to help ensure those resources are sustainable for future generations,” said IBWA vice president of communications Jill Culora. “I think most people don’t understand the amount of research and effort water bottlers invest in to ensure the longevity of their water sources.”

The bottled water industry is an extremely small and efficient water user, IBWA noted. It accounts for less than 0.01% of all the water used in the United States each year. To put this small amount into perspective: The total amount of water used by bottled water companies in the U.S. in 2019 was 20 billion gallons (including the water used to produce our healthy hydration beverage products), which is about the same amount of tap water New York City uses in just 20 days. 

Bottled water is the No.1 packaged beverage in the U.S. Even with its continued growth and increased consumption, bottled water still has the smallest water and energy use footprints of any packaged beverage.

Contrary to the many false claims, bottled water companies do not drain aquifers or surface waters or use more water than can be replenished. The water sources they use water must be renewable to justify the investment that manufacturers make to bring the source to market.

IBWA also noted that bottled water is just one of thousands of packaged beverages sold in the U.S. that has water as its main ingredient. Like all commercial water users, bottled water companies follow all government mandates to decrease water use when conditions require it. In addition, as good environmental stewards, many bottled water companies voluntarily cut back on their water use during droughts and other water shortages.

Click here to read IBWA’s full statement.


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