Friday, July 24, 2009

Tap or Bottled Water?

Recently I read an article about the difference and similarities between tap and bottled water. I began thinking more about some of the benefits and disadvantages of both. Bottled water can be convenient, it is sold cold at convenience and grocery stores everywhere; however tap water is a more economical choice. Some bottled water has distinct tastes that some people enjoy; however if you refill a reusable bottle or glass with tap water it reduces waste as well as the environmental impact of the bottling, packaging, and shipping process to get the water to your local stores.

Here are some other facts about tap and bottled water to think about the next time you are deciding between the two options.

- Americans drink more than 1 billion glasses of tap water per day. Water provided to consumers by a public water supply system is regulated by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). The EPA sets standards for over 90 contaminants that can be found in water. If the water from a public supply becomes contaminated and is a potential health risk, the water supply system is required to notify the public and provide an alternative safe source of water. In addition community water systems send out an annual report sharing with its customers the quality of their water source.

If the water you drink comes from a private well, which includes about 15% of the US population, you as the owner of the well are responsible for having the water tested. This should be done on a regular basis to make sure the water quality is sufficient for drinking. Water from private wells is not regulated by law; however the EPA sets guidelines for private well owners to follow.

- Americans spend over $10 billion dollars on bottled water every year. If you drink bottled water it may come from a public water system or a private source. The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) regulates bottled water and set standards for contaminants based on the EPA standards. When EPA creates a drinking water standard the FDA must either establish a new standard for bottled water or show proof that the EPA standard is not applicable to bottled water. When an FDA regulated contaminant is found at high levels in bottled water, the FDA will enforce action such as removing the product from stores. To learn more about the quality of bottled water consumers must contact the bottler directly.

When it comes to tap or bottled water, what do you choose? Are there specific reasons that make you decide to drink one or the other? I would like to hear what you think.

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Series of webinars

Educating people about groundwater is our primary mission. We educate in a multitude of ways, from talking to students at a school or camp, meeting with people at a convention or even using social media such as Facebook or Twitter.

Another way we are beginning to reach out to people is through a series of webinars that will start later this month. The first one is on July 30 at 2 p.m. CDT, called “Sharing the Groundwater Protection Message: Innovative Ideas.” It will focus on some of the projects that we have been working on and give new ideas for communities heading into 2010.

We hope that you can join us. How do you do that? Click on the Webinar button on our home page. That will lead you to the main Webinar page of The Groundwater Foundation website. From there, click on the July 30 link halfway down the page. Here is a direct link as well: The registration process begins by clicking on the online link next to registration. It will take you to the WebEx Groundwater Foundation site. You will find a registration button on the right side of the page. Click on it, enter your contact information, click register and you are ready to attend. You will receive a confirmation email to tell you how to attend the actual session on July 30. It’s just that simple.

We have many ideas for topics and presenters for future webinars, but want to hear from you. What would you like to learn more about? What information would help you in your local efforts to educate people and protect groundwater? Please contact us with any questions or suggestions at 1-800-858-4844 or

Monday, July 6, 2009

Do I Have a Right to Safe Drinking Water?

After celebrating Independence Day this past weekend, a question occurred to me – should access to safe, plentiful drinking water be considered a right or a social responsibility?

Many would say that since water is a basic fundamental human need that it should be an unalienable right. Others believe that it is the responsibility of each of us to do our part to ensure that all humans have ample access to clean water. While yet others believe water is a commodity to be sold and traded as with other commodities to those who can afford it.

Where do you stand on this issue? I’d like to think that we all would choose to provide clean drinking water to all people. However, no matter what country you are in, access to clean water is not available to everyone. What can be done?