Washington state, known for mountains, glaciers and rainforests, has an abundance of fresh water. To protect those natural resources, the state senate has passed a bill that will ban any new water bottling permits.

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Bill SB 6278, “An act relating to water withdrawals for commercial bottled water production; and amending RCW 90.03.290” was approved by the senate on February 17 and is currently progressing through the house. The bill will take effect retroactively to any applications as of January 1, 2019, effectively banning any new bottling operations in the state.

Related: Arsenic found in bottled water sold at major retailers

For definition, bottled water is clearly defined as any water labeled or marketed for sale as water in any type of container. Spring water or enhanced water is also included in the ban; however, it does not include products made from water that are not marketed as water. The state also included a clause stating that the limitation does not apply to municipal water suppliers or in the case of a state of emergency, drought or public health emergency — an argument from representatives of the bottled water industry.

According to the bill, “the commercial production of bottled water is deemed to be detrimental to the public welfare and the public interest.” With water campaigners promoting the notion that private companies should not profit from public resources, the Washington senate was moved into action. Harvesting the water allows the industry to deplete a natural resource, put it in a plastic bottle and ship it out of state, all while collecting water for almost nothing and seeing exorbitant profits.

With water being the No. 1 bottled drink in the United States, the production is bound to have consequences at the source, and there have been several instances of groundwater pollution as well as arsenic being diverted to water treatment plants without notifications regarding the toxins.

Washington will be the first state in the nation to enact such a ban, but other states have similar legislation in the works, including Maine and Michigan introducing state bills and both Oregon and Montana recently passing ballot measures.

+ Washington State Legislature

Via The Guardian

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