[LONG READ] Five facts consumers should know about bottled water and the drought

Environmental adviser, speaker and author, Dr Anthony Turton, was asked five questions about the bottled water industry and the drought in the Western Cape, and then got South African National Bottled Water Association chairperson, John Weaver, to add context from the industry’s point of view … 1.
Do you believe the bottled water industry is negatively impacting on water available for reticulation?
All SANBWA members in the Western Cape bottle from ground water sources.
· Bottling companies or individuals starting up in response to the drought often do not adhere to South Africa’s legislation governing the bottled water industry.
What is the bottled water industry’s role during the drought?
Do you believe bottled water bottlers should be forced by Government to bottle water for distribution or that Government should annex/ attach bottled water companies?
In addition to the licensing fee, there is the considerable cost of ensuring sustainability of the source as well as the bottling, packaging and distribution.
The fact is that bottlers’ licences strictly regulate the volume they may extract for bottling.
They need to demand the de-politicisation of water.” John Weaver: “I like Dr Turton’s answer but there also have to be behavioural changes.
Dr Turton: “Droughts come and go.

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