"Toronto's decision last week to ban the sale and distribution of bottled water on city premises was a watershed moment for water justice advocates the world over. What was truly significant about Toronto's action was not that it banned an environmentally destructive product, but that it included a commitment to ensuring access to tap water in all city facilities.
Toronto is now the largest city in the world to pass such far-reaching regulations controlling the distribution of bottled water on municipal property and promoting the use of publicly delivered tap water. Other Canadian and American municipalities have enacted policies encouraging the consumption of tap water and limiting the distribution of bottled water using taxpayer money, but none as large as Toronto has taken such a comprehensive approach.
Increasingly across Canada, municipal leaders are showing that there is a strong political will for reinvestments in public water services. However, access to municipal drinking water is dwindling with new buildings constructed without water fountains and older ones decommissioning existing fountains. Now is the time to issue strong calls to all levels of government for greater public access to free potable water and a wholesale reinvestment in water infrastructure and services."