Last night, the Washington State Senate voted to approve legislation to ban water withdrawals for commercial bottled water production. SB 6278, sponsored by State Senator Reuven Carlyle, would ban new water rights permits for withdrawals for bottled water extraction.
The legislation declares that “any use of water for the commercial production of bottled water is deemed to be detrimental to the public welfare and the public interest.” It applies to all permit applications for new water withdrawals received after January 1, 2019, and would apply to a controversial proposal by Crystal Geyser in Lewis County, Washington. The legislation now moves to the state House of Representatives.
In response, Food & Water Action’s Public Water For All Campaign Director Mary Grant issued the following statement:
“As communities across the country from Ginnie Springs, Florida, to Osceola, Michigan, to Lewis County, Washington, are coming together to fight the harmful water withdrawals of the bottled water industry, Washington State is carving the path towards a groundbreaking solution.
“This legislation would help protect the state’s water resources, helping keep the limited freshwater supplies in the state, for the public benefit and the public good. It would ban one of the worst corporate water abuses — the extraction of local water supplies in plastic bottles shipped out of watersheds and around the country.
“In this era of a deepening climate crisis that threatens our clean water resources, it is more important than ever to stop the damaging withdrawals of the bottled water industry. We urge all members of the State House of Representatives and Governor Jay Inslee to support this bill to protect Washington’s clean water as a common resource for the public wellbeing.”