International Bottled Water Association | IMMEDIATE RELEASE | March 12, 2013
IBWA Supports National Groundwater Awareness Week 2013
ALEXANDRIA, VA – The International Bottled Water Association (IBWA) is proud to be a sponsor of National Groundwater Awareness Week, March 10-16, 2013. The annual commemoration marking America’s need to protect and maintain water from underground aquifers is spearheaded by the National Groundwater Association (NGWA).
“The protection and appreciation of the role groundwater plays in our lives is very important, and each of us can do something to be a good groundwater steward,” says Chris Hogan, IBWA’s Vice President of Communications. “The bottled water industry recognizes the importance of protecting the quantity and quality of the world’s water. Bottled water companies that produce groundwater products (e.g., spring water, artisan water) are entirely dependent upon a safe, fresh supply of constantly recharged and replenished water for their livelihood,” Hogan notes. “Many public water systems draw at least a portion of their water supply from groundwater, so protecting this renewable resource also helps ensure municipal water supplies are safe and treatment costs are reduced.”
Annual bottled water production accounts for less than 0.02 percent of the total groundwater withdrawn in the United States each year. In fact, the entire U.S. beverage industry uses less than 0.03 percent. To put it in context, a total of 9 billion gallons of bottled water were consumed in the U.S. in 2012; New York City goes through that amount of tap water in one week.
Even though it is a minimal groundwater user and is only one of among thousands of food, beverage and commercial water users, bottled water companies actively support comprehensive ground water management policies that are science-based, multi-jurisdictional, treat all users equitably, and provide for future needs of this important resource.
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. In 2009, IBWA commissioned a life cycle inventory (LCI) by Franklin Associates to determine the environmental footprint of the United States bottled water industry. The results show that the bottled water industry has an extremely small environmental footprint. (For more information on the LCI, please click here.)
Groundwater Awareness Week and NGWA play important roles in educating the public about how matters such as water well flooding, abandoned water wells, naturally occurring contamination, and poor well maintenance can affect groundwater quality. For families, businesses, or farms relying on wells, it is especially important to protect groundwater resources.
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.
To learn more about National Ground Water Awareness Week, including ways that you can help protect and conserve our groundwater resources, please visit NGWA’s website. If you rely on a well for your water, please visit WellOwner.org, NGWA’s website that provides helpful information to well owners.
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The International Bottled Water Association (IBWA) is the authoritative source of information about all types of bottled waters, including spring, mineral, purified, artesian, and sparkling. 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, to set comprehensive and stringent standards for safe, high-quality bottled water products.
In addition to FDA regulations, IBWA member bottlers must 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 a mandatory annual plant inspection by an independent, third-party organization.
IBWA is proud to be a partner with Keep America Beautiful and a supporter of Drink Up, an initiative of former First Lady Michelle Obama and the Partnership for a Healthier America (PHA), which encourages Americans to drink more water more often – whether from the tap, a filter, or in a bottle. Choosing water is always the healthy choice.