I read with interest the article that appeared in the June 24 edition of The Surrey-North Delta Leader, “Surrey school trustee floats bottled water ban.”
We agree with Surrey Trustee Laurie Larsen that municipal tap water should be served in pitchers during board and internal staff meetings. We also support the installation of water fountains.
Why? Bottled water doesn’t compete with tap water. It competes with other bottled beverages. According to independent market research firm Probe Research Inc. (www.probe-research.com), 70 per cent of Canadians drink both tap water and bottled water. They drink tap water at home and bottled water out-of-home to support their busy, on-the-go lifestyles.
Before the Surrey Board of Education considers Trustee Larsen’s motion any further, it should review a 2009 Toronto District School Board report that enunciated the problems associated with banning the sale of bottled water in schools.
Board staff wrote that “students have access to 35% of the water needed for proper hydration during the school day” and when bottled water was temporarily removed as part of their study into the matter, “of those students who normally purchased bottled water at school, 22 per cent drank nothing at all and those who substituted pop or soft drinks for water outnumbered those who chose milk or juice.”
Staff warned there is a direct link between hydration and brain function and “a mere 2 per cent drop in body water can trigger short term fuzzy memory, trouble with basic math and difficulty focusing on a computer screen.”
More than 60 per cent of Canadians consume bottled water each and every day because it is a portable, accessible and healthy choice. They are not choosing bottled water over municipal tap water. They are choosing bottled water over other bottled beverages that do not have the same health benefits as bottled water does.
John B. Challinor II
Director of Corporate Affairs
Nestlé Waters Canada