S.F. Mayor Urges Restaurants to Remove Bottled Water

San Francisco, Calif., Mayor Gavin Newsom recently announced a "Take Back the Tap" initiative and urged local restaurants to follow the city's lead by removing bottled water from menus. In June 2007, Newsom barred the use of city funds for bottled water. City departments are in nearly full-compliance with the bottled water ban.

"We are drinking tap water again at City Hall and across city government, and I call upon the restaurant industry to join us in promoting the best tasting water in the country by removing bottled water from their menus," Newsom said.

The city has partnered with the national nonprofit Food & Water Watch to "Take Back the Tap." A growing number of Bay Area restaurants – including San Francisco's Incanto, Delfina, and Nopa, Berkeley's Chez Panisse, and Sausalito's Poggio – have removed bottled water from their menus without negative impact to their bottom line. The city's more than 3,000 restaurants will receive a copy of the new "How-To Guide for the San Francisco Restaurant Switch to Tap Water," published by Food & Water Watch.

The mayor directed the San Francisco Public Utilities Commission (SFPUC) to undertake several steps to protect and preserve the city's current drinking water quality. Among those initiatives are:

•A detailed and specific Water Quality Protection Plan.

•A National Water Quality Advisory Council of water quality experts from across California and the nation to assist in the development of the plan.

•Application for an $11 million grant from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency to fund innovative water quality protection measures throughout the regional water system.

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