International Bottled Water Association | IMMEDIATE RELEASE | March 7, 2011
IBWA Supports National Groundwater Awareness Week
ALEXANDRIA, VA – The International Bottled Water Association (IBWA) is proud to be one of the sponsors of “National Groundwater Awareness Week,” March 6-12, 2011. The annual commemoration marking America’s need to protect and maintain water from underground aquifers is spearheaded by the National Groundwater Association (NGWA) in Westerville, Ohio.
“The protection and appreciation of groundwater is very important, and there is something every person can do to be a good groundwater steward,” said Joseph K. Doss, President of IBWA. “Bottled water companies that produce spring water are entirely dependent upon a safe, fresh supply of constantly recharged and replenished groundwater for their livelihood,” Doss noted. “Many public water systems draw at least a portion of their water supply from groundwater, so protecting this renewable resource also helps ensure the municipal water supplies are safe and treatment costs are reduced.”
“We all have a stake in groundwater, so every person should consider what he or she can do to preserve and protect groundwater,” said Cliff Treyens, NGWA’s public awareness director, whose organization began the annual recognition week more than a decade ago.
“Many people taking just a step or two to protect groundwater can make a big difference,” Treyens said. “Groundwater Awareness Week is all about taking that first step.” Treyens explained that consumers’ daily habits can affect groundwater quality. “How you store, use and dispose of hazardous household substances can affect groundwater quality. In the same manner, whether you regularly maintain your water well or septic system, or properly decommission an abandoned well can impact the groundwater that serves as someone’s water supply,” Treyens said.
“In addition to privately owned wells, many public water systems use groundwater. Just about everybody has a stake in protecting groundwater,” he said.
NGWA’s Ground Water Awareness Week Web page provides action steps people can take in two categories: groundwater protection and groundwater conservation. The public, particularly well owners, can learn more about groundwater stewardship at www.wellowner.org. This NGWA site contains more useful information about groundwater protection as well as water testing and treatment.
“It’s important to continually educate the public about how matters such as water well flooding, abandoned water wells, naturally occurring contamination and poor well maintenance can affect groundwater quality,” Treyens said
For families, businesses or farms relying on wells, it is doubly important to protect groundwater resources. Well owners must manage their own water systems, so it is paramount to protect underground water from contamination and to use the water wisely by not wasting it.
On average, America use 79.6 billion gallons of groundwater per day, according to NGWA – that’s the equivalent of every man, woman and child in our country each consuming 2,923 12-ounce glasses of water every day.
Agricultural irrigation is far and away the largest user of groundwater in America, consuming 53.5 billion gallons of groundwater every day. Spring and artesian bottled waters are well-known users of groundwater, but annual withdrawals for bottled water production amount to only 2/100 of one percent of America’s total renewable groundwater supplies. This small amount is mitigated by constant recharge from rain and snow, but it is still very important that groundwater sources be protected and free from potential contaminants.
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. When developing and using water resources, it is essential that use is balanced with the replenishment cycle and the requirements of the regional demand for the resource.
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 entire aquifer must be viewed within the context of science supported by empirical data. Advanced research techniques and the collection of baseline data of groundwater resource characteristics and source use must be utilized to assist in the analysis and design of effective groundwater management policies.
To learn more about National Ground Water Awareness Week or obtain an Awareness Week logo for use in print or the Web, contact Treyens at [email protected].
# # #
703-647-4609 or 703-887-4056
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.