St. Louis Promotes Tap Water

Restaurateurs, brewmeisters, and city officials planned to cancel bottled water contracts and instead promote St. Louis' high-quality tap water. The move is part of a nationwide effort, dubbed "Think Outside the Bottle," that exposes the environmental and social impacts of bottled water.

Bottled water, now a $15 billion industry, began its boom when it appeared on the menus of high-end restaurants. The restaurant industry is now turning back the clock in St. Louis.

"The city supports the use of tap water. St. Louis' water is first class and the best tasting in the nation," said Tim Embree, environmental aid to Mayor Slay. "We encourage all businesses to utilize our great water flowing out of every city tap."

Embree also said the mayor plans to cut city spending on bottled water. 

"The bottom line is that water is a basic human right," said Claire Miller, St. Louis organizer for Corporate Accountability International. "When it is treated as a commodity instead of a shared natural resource, our democracy, health, and environment suffers."

As the bottled water industry has grown, the political will to adequately fund public water systems has diminished. The gap between what these public water systems need, and the funding available to them, is more than $22 billion and growing.

 "That's why we are calling for a reinvestment in our public systems, with dedicated federal resources to keep our water safe, clean, and affordable for future generations," said Jon Keesecker, water campaign organizer with Food and Water Watch.

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