Mar 06, 2014

IBWA Supports National Groundwater Awareness Week

Led by the National Groundwater Assn., the 2014 National Groundwater Awareness Week is March 9 to 15

National Groundwater Awareness Week International Bottled Water Association

The International Bottled Water Assn. (IBWA) is a sponsor of National Groundwater Awareness Week, March 9 to 15, 2014. The National Groundwater Assn. (NGWA) spearheads the annual commemoration marking America’s need to protect and maintain water from underground aquifers.

 “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,” said Chris Hogan, IBWA’s vice president of communications. “The bottled water industry has always recognized 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.

“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Annual bottled water production accounts for less than 0.02% of the total groundwater withdrawn in the U.S. each year. Even though it is a minimal groundwater user and is only one of among thousands of food, beverage and commercial water users, the bottled water industry actively supports 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.

IBWA released a water use ratio study in 2013, showing that the amount of water used to produce bottled water products is less than all other types of packaged beverages; on average, only 1.39 liters per liter of finished bottled water (including the liter of water consumed).

In 2009, IBWA commissioned a life cycle inventory by Franklin Associates to determine the environmental footprint of the U.S. bottled water industry. The results show that the bottled water industry has a small environmental footprint.

Groundwater Awareness Week and NGWA 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. 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.