Olympia, WA —Today, the Washington State House Committee on Rural Development, Agriculture & Natural Resources failed to approve legislation to prohibit new water rights for commercial bottled water production. SB 6278 would have declared, "any use of water for the commercial production of bottled water to be detrimental to the public welfare and the public interest."
The bipartisan legislation passed the State Senate, but the House committee appeared to fail to move the bill today. Due to the House committee inaction, the bill is now unlikely to pass.
The bottled water industry lobbied aggressively against the legislation in the State House with multiple industry officials testifying against it, including a representative of the International Bottled Water Association (IBWA). IBWA spent $5,000 lobbying in the state in January alone.
In response, Food & Water Action’s Public Water For All Campaign Director Mary Grant issued the following statement:
“It appears that Washington’s leaders chose corporate profits over public health and the human right to water today. There was no reason to stop this bill other than to line the pockets of bottled water companies that have been cozying up to state representatives ever since this bill was introduced.
“Washington had a chance to lead the country in solving our growing water crisis, and even though our leaders failed us today, the movement to stop corporate water extraction is getting stronger every day. Across the nation, communities are standing up and demanding public control over water sources. Water belongs to the people, not the bottom line of corporate America, and Washington is no exception.”