‘War’ Between Water Groups All Wet

In a recent Indiana Vision 2025 planning meeting, our Indiana Chamber task force heard about regional water shortages, potential droughts and more. The point was that we can’t take water supplies for granted — and that it’s really a business development issue. (The 2025 effort, by the way, is the Chamber — for the second time — going beyond the short term and crafting a long-range economic plan for the state; you’ll hear plenty more about this as work continues on the project).

Two water industry groups, however, are ignoring supplies and focusing on battling each other while supposedly celebrating National Drinking Water Week. It started with this press release from the National Association of Water Companies:

"Alarmingly, 85% of plastic bottles end up in landfills. And every day, high-quality tap water is delivered straight to the homes of millions of customers without the use of a single plastic bottle," said NAWC executive director Michael Deane. "NAWC’s member companies treat and deliver tap water for a fraction of a penny per gallon, and that tap water is subject to quality standards that often exceed those of bottled water. Our members know that only tap water truly delivers sustainable value to consumers."

The full NAWC release.

The International Bottled Water Association responded this way:

This week, the National Association of Water Companies (NAWC) issued a press release that contains several false claims about bottled water. NAWC’s unfounded, unnecessary and tangential attack on bottled water products is contrary to the important goals of National Drinking Water Week, and appear to be an attempt to deflect public and media focus from the very real problems facing many municipal water systems today. Provided below are the facts:

NAWC’s claim that tap water standards “often exceed” bottled water standards are without foundation. 

According to the NAWC press release, "85 percent’ of plastic bottles end up in landfills,” but that’s flat-out wrong. The recycling rate for PET bottles is a record-high 31% and growing every year.

The lengthy IBWA release.

Who knew water could generate such a bitter battle?