Santa Monica takes back the tap

SHOPPERS at Santa Monica Farmers Market today received free refills of filtered tap water as the City of Santa Monica joins the “Take back the Tap” campaign mounted by the non-profit Food & Water Watch. Today being the launch of a project that will offer free water to an estimated 20,000 market-goers every week, the City handed out free cups, said Farmers Market manager Laura Avery. However, in future, she said, “you need to bring a bottle. If you could figure out a nice way to say that, that would be great.” The city will also be selling durable, reusable containers for $10.

Bundanoon bottle ban began down under

THE TOWN of Bundanoon in New South Wales, Australia, became an accidental champion in the crusade against bottled water last week, suggested the New York Times on Thursday. As the Times has it, Bundanoon’s rejection of bottled water began with a bid by a bottling company to tap the local aquifer. From the story:

According to Huw Kingston, the owner of Ye Olde Bicycle Shoppe and a leader of the ‘Bundy on Tap’ campaign, the ban did not begin as an environmental crusade. It started when a bottling company sought permission to extract millions of liters of water from the local aquifer.

At first, residents were upset at the prospect of tanker trucks rumbling through their quiet streets. But as opposition grew, Mr. Kingston said many residents began to question the idea of trucking water about 100 miles north to a bottling plant in Sydney, only to transport it

Drink from the sink

THE TITLE of a Government Accountability Office reportBottled Water: FDA Safety and Consumer Protections Are Often Less Stringent Than Comparable EPA Protections for Tap Water” released yesterday underscores what inside water people have said for years: forget bottled water, drink from the sink.

From the Associated Press via the Denver Post today, “The GAO and the Environmental Working Group, a nonprofit research and advocacy organization, recommend in reports released Wednesday that bottled water be labeled with the same level of information municipal water providers must disclose. The researchers urged Americans to make bottled water ‘a distant second choice’ behind filtered tap water because there isn’t enough information about bottled water. But the working group recommends purifying tap water with a commercial filter.”