I read with interest the article written by Evan LePage that appeared Oct. 26, “Campus groups mobilizing students for new negotiations of contract held by Pepsi.”
In the piece, Mr. LePage quotes TAPthirst member Laura Beach as stating that her organization is opposed to the sale of bottled water on campus because “water is a human right” and “should not be commodified to be bought and sold.”
We at NestlÃ© Waters Canada agree with Ms. Beach and others that water is a human right. However, the fact of the matter is that water is also a commodity. It is a fundamental requirement for the growth, processing, manufacture and distribution of all foods consumed by human beings. It is the essence of life. The bottled water industry had nothing to do with this historical fact. The bottled water industry is one of the smallest consumer packaged goods sectors in terms of its use of water. There is little or nothing to be gained by ending the sale of bottled water on the campus of Concordia University.
If Ms. Beach and other students at Concordia University truly want to preserve and protect this valuable resource for future generations, they should give consideration to calling on government to undertake the following initiatives:
* Make water and sewer infrastructure development and maintenance a priority;
* Make all residential, commercial and industrial water takers pay their fair share of the real cost of water consumption;
* Address the inefficient use of water by municipalities, agriculture and industries;
* Require treatment of wastewater before it is returned to rivers, lakes and oceans; and
* Invest in related public education and communications about water conservation and protection.
John B. Challinor II
Director of Corporate Affairs
NestlÃ© Waters Canada