No Bottled Water For You

The Guardian is reporting Charlottetown mayor orders halt to bottled water:

In a letter to the local branch of the Council of Canadians, Charlottetown Mayor Clifford Lee said city council recently met to discuss a letter from the group requesting the city switch from using bottled water to tap water.
“It was the decision of (city) council that the City of Charlottetown would cease purchasing bottled water,” Lee said in the letter.
Bottled water will no longer be permitted in all city premises and workplaces and all city council and committee meetings.

Now while in the grander scheme of things this might seem a trivial move, I still think it’s an important statement. The commodification of drinking water has been something that’s happened in my lifetime; we’ve moved from:

Water Fountain

to this:

Very Expensive Water

While this obviously has ramifications for how we think of water locally, and for our relationship with our ground water, more significantly it contributes to the erosion of access to clean drinking water being treated as a basic human right around the world.

Kudos to Mayor Lee and council for showing leadership in this regard, especially given their earlier dismissal of this as an important issue.


Jevon MacDonald's picture
Jevon MacDonald on April 30, 2007 - 14:44 Permalink

In the last year I have been getting away from bottled water as much as possible. I always knew it was somewhat ridiculous, but I began drinking it as a “good thing” because it was an alternative to sugar laden pop and juice.

Switching my brain from “good healthy bottled water” to “good healthy irresponsible bottled water” seems to have taken some time, but I am not fully enjoying the subtle differences in chlorination each city has to offer. A sort of haut cuisine approach to switching.

Cairo, I admit, had different plans for that entierly, but I will spare details.

I am actually a little shocked that council has gone this far, and good on them!

Alan's picture
Alan on April 30, 2007 - 15:18 Permalink

What if you have concerns about nitrates?

Peter Rukavina's picture
Peter Rukavina on April 30, 2007 - 15:41 Permalink

If you have concerns about nitrates, you should be putting your energy and your money into whatever actions would lead you to not having concerns about nitrates.

Deflecting your resources to purchasing bottled water simply perpetuates the nitrates problem, and leaves those without the resources to drink bottled water high and, literally, dry.

Alan's picture
Alan on April 30, 2007 - 15:51 Permalink

But if they are in the aquifer already, what can one do — what actions would be meaningful?

Steven Garrity's picture
Steven Garrity on April 30, 2007 - 15:58 Permalink

Our office has a water cooler that is filled by Seman’s Water Co. (now a subsidiary of the Pepsi Bottling Co., I presume). It’s tasty and cool and encourages us to drink lots of water. I wonder where this lies on the spectrum of evilness? It uses giant reusable bottles, which is good, but it gets trucked here, rather than the pipes we already have, which sucks.

I suppose the ideal would be a water cool that keeps the water cool from our own water system.

Charles's picture
Charles on April 30, 2007 - 20:09 Permalink

I live in Charlottetown, and if I drink the city’s water I get sick from the high amounts of chlorine. My lips break out and bleed, stomach ramps, etc… I hope that they take some of the money they’ve made from selling bottled water and invest in a water purification system.