The Progressive


A project of Common Dreams

For Immediate Release

Christina Rossi, 617-306-0920

Survey: More Cities Cut Bottled Water Spending

National mayor’s meeting spotlights need to support, reinvest in the tap


Today, the U.S. Conference of Mayors released the preliminary
findings from an ongoing national survey demonstrating that more and
more cities are phasing out bottled water from city budgets. These
initial findings come on the heels of an executive order by Colorado
Governor Bill Ritter cutting state spending on the bottle. Four states,
including New York, Illinois, and Virginia have now taken such action.

Also supporting the efforts of mayors and public officials are three Oklahoma City restaurants -
Bricktown Brewery, Grateful Bean Cafe, and Sage- that announced today they have gone bottled water free.
"These actions are not just about fiscal responsibility, they are
about civic pride and protecting common resources," said Leslie
Samuelrich, Corporate Accountability International Chief of Staff.
"Spending taxpayer dollars on bottled water sends the wrong message
about our nation's high quality tap water. It is also entirely wasteful
to spend scarce public dollars on such a non-essential use of our most
essential public resource."
The survey was prompted by an earlier resolution passed by the
1,204-mayor body encouraging cities to phase out bottled water
spending. Up to 40 percent of bottled water, in fact, comes from the
same source as the tap. Bottled water is also far less regulated. Yet
bottled water marketing has been so effective that many U.S. cities
responsible for delivering tap water to the public have been spending
millions each year on the bottle - even as public water systems face a
$22 billion annual shortfall.
The survey found that out of 101 cities responding:
* 72 percent have considered eliminating or reducing bottled water purchases within city facilities;
* 45 percent sited "promoting public water" as the reason for taking action; and
* 44 percent have taken action to phase out city purchases and use of bottled water
U.S. Conference of Mayors staff has said they will continue to
gather responses from their membership in the coming weeks to capture a
fuller picture of city action on this issue.
"Public officials and the small businesses supporting them are to
be commended," said Samuelrich. "They have listened to the tens of
thousands across the country who want their tax dollars spent on public
water solutions not on plastic bottles."
For the last four years Corporate Accountability International's
national education and action campaign, Think Outside the Bottle, has
worked with public officials, communities of faith, campus
administrators, small businesses, and individuals to support public
water systems and call on the bottled water industry to honor local
control of water and be more transparent about its labeling and water
For a further list of city and state actions compiled by Corporate Accountability International visit

Corporate Accountability stops transnational corporations from devastating democracy, trampling human rights, and destroying our planet.

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