The International Bottled Water Association (IBWA) released a YouTube video (below) that complains that bottled water bans remove students’ freedom of choice. It’s not quite true. Students are still free to bring water in reusable containers, drink from water fountains, or maybe, depending on the exact language of the ban, bring their own disposable bottled water from home.
The press release issued with the video contains a quote from Chris Hogan, IBWA Vice President of Communications: “Those [anti-bottled water] groups are capturing the attention of college students by making highly emotional and incorrect statements and claims—such as the threat of losing water as a basic human right and the privatization of water. But if these students checked some of this information out for themselves, they would see that this anti-bottled water rhetoric is simply not true.”
Privatization of public resources has to be watched closely. Moving water out of its natural watershed can leave a community and the surrounding areas at greater risk of drought. Water rationing is already a problem in many situations – rice farmers won’t receive water this year, fracking companies outbidding farmers for water – and bottling the water and selling it elsewhere doesn’t help.
Pile of plastic water bottles via Shutterstock