What is the role of the bottled water industry in times of disaster and crisis?
Clean, safe water is a critical need for citizens and first responders immediately following a natural disaster or other catastrophic event.
Unfortunately, the availability of water from public water systems is often compromised in the aftermath of such an event. During these times, bottled water is the best option to deliver clean, safe drinking water quickly into affected areas.
The bottled water industry has always been at the forefront of relief efforts during natural disasters and other catastrophic events. Throughout the years, bottled water companies have immediately responded to the need for clean water after natural disasters, such as 2011’s devastating storms in the Southeast and Midwest and record flooding in the Northeast; Hurricanes Andrew, Charlie, and Katrina; earthquakes; forest fires in the West; or the terrorist attacks on the Pentagon and World Trade Center in 2001.
Working together, we determine the quickest and most effective way to deliver safe bottled water into affected areas to augment other relief efforts. Bottled water companies also work with municipal water systems to provide the public with clean, safe bottled water when the public drinking water infrastructure is compromised or when the water does not meet state and federal health standards.
The efforts of the industry to provide crucial drinking water to citizens afflicted by disasters are contingent on a viable commercial market. The commercial market provides them with the capital and resources to respond when needed.
The industry cannot exist only for disaster response as some industry critics would have people believe. The need for such philanthropic efforts can only be seen when people need it the most. To discourage the use of bottled water or question the safety of bottled water does a disservice to an industry that is called upon every year to provide much needed drinking water.