Where New Drinking Water Campaign Misses a Mark

Drink Local. Drink Tap.

By Tim Kovach

Last week, First Lady Michelle Obama launched a new campaign to inspire Americans to splash some-more water. The campaign, Drink Up, is being advertised as “less a open health debate than a debate to inspire celebration water.” While a new bid to boost H2O expenditure sounds like a good idea, it has come underneath considerable criticism from several commentators.

Evidence does advise that Americans do not splash adequate water. According to a Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), 43 percent of Americans news celebration reduction than a endorsed daily volume of 4 cups per day. Astonishingly, 7 percent reported celebration no H2O daily.

There are legitimate criticisms of this program, however. First, a U.S. supervision has not indeed set a endorsed daily intake for water. CDC has called 4 cups of H2O a assuage amount, while a Institute of Medicine tells us to “let lust be your guide.” The World Health Organization also declines to yield a standard, nonetheless it does state that people need at slightest 7.5 liters of H2O per day to accommodate their daily needs.

Second, a module avoids wholly a genuine open health emanate during hand—the significance of replacing sweetened beverages, quite soda, with water. Americans have already begun to make this switch in new years. Whereas a normal adult consumed 54 gallons of soda per year and only 42 gallons of H2O in 1998, these numbers have flipped to 44 gallons and 58 gallons per year, respectively.

Third, if we demeanour during a list of Drink Up’s supporters and partners, we will notice that it’s mostly stoical of member from a bottled H2O industry. As a result, a module runs a risk of apropos nonetheless another venue to foster a expenditure of bottled water, which has skyrocketed over a final 10-15 years.


As other Drink Local. Drink Tap. writers have noted, bottled H2O carries a horde of disastrous consequences–one of a many critical of these involves issues of inequity. Bottled H2O tends to cost roughly 240 to 10,000 times some-more per gallon than daub water. This occurs notwithstanding a fact that roughly one-third of bottled H2O is simply finished metropolitan daub water.

African-American and Hispanic relatives are three times some-more likely to give their children exclusively bottled water, notwithstanding this high cost. They news doing this since they understand it as being cleaner and safer than daub H2O (the justification suggests otherwise). The courtesy has also sought to position a product as a standing symbol. Nestle recently introduced “Resource,” a bottled H2O for women who are “trendy” and “higher-income.”

If a Drink Up debate becomes another apparatus to foster bottled water, it also risks holding courtesy and resources divided from providing adequate, purify celebration water, something a United Nations has admitted a tellurian right.

Globally, 783 million people miss entrance to purify celebration water. But it’s not only a problem that affects people in a building world. Municipal H2O systems have run-down in many tools of a county. Earlier this month, residents in Ottawa County (75 miles west of Cleveland, OH) were incompetent to splash their daub H2O after an algal bloom in Lake Erie contaminated their H2O supply with a liver toxin.

Ultimately, while a Drink Up debate seems laudable, it does not go distant enough. We need to inspire Americans to barter sweetened beverages for daub H2O and to continue a bid to pledge that each chairman will have guaranteed entrance to purify water.

Visit EcoWatch’s WATER page for some-more associated news on this topic.