Bottle Water Free Presidential Inauguration
  • Petitioned Senator Charles E. Schumer

This petition was delivered to:

Chairman, Joint Congressional Committee on Inaugural Ceremonies
Senator Charles E. Schumer
Senate Majority Leader
Senator Harry Reid
Ranking Member, U.S. Senate Committee on Rules and Administration
Senator Lamar Alexander
Rep. John Boehner
Rep. Eric Cantor
Rep. Nancy Pelosi

Bottle Water Free Presidential Inauguration

    1. Petition by

      Corporate Accountability International

October 2012


After Corporate Accountability International launched a petition to Congressional leaders urging them to serve tap water instead of bottled water at the Presidential Inauguration, the Joint Congressional Committee on Inaugural Ceremonies pledged to serve DC tap water at the ceremony.

Last year, I was proud to be part of a coalition that gathered policy makers and community members to call on Members of Congress to cut congressional spending on bottled water. At the press event, Representative Eleanor Holmes Norton (D-DC), George Hawkins (General Manager, DC Water), Mayor Bruce Williams (Takoma Park, MD), students from American University and many others highlighted the importance of supporting our municipal water systems and ending wasteful spending on bottled water.

Today, after reading Peter Gleick's article on the Huffington Post, I was appalled to learn that Senator Charles E. Schumer and the Joint Congressional Committee on Inaugural Ceremonies plan to promote bottled water over tap at the Presidential Inauguration in January 2013.

Bottled water is bad for our environment, our pocketbooks and our public water systems. It certainly has no place at the Presidential Inauguration. For this momentous occasion, Senator Charles E. Schumer and the Joint Congressional Committee on Inaugural Ceremonies need to Think Outside the Bottle and demonstrate their support for our most essential public resource.  

Water is a basic human right.  And when it is treated as a commodity, our democracy, health and environment suffers. Bottled water corporations have long attempted to change the way people think about water, manufacturing demand for what already safely flows from our taps. Decades of misleading marketing has led the public to doubt the tap and choose bottled water, stifling the political will to adequately fund public water. This has serious consequences. Historically, dedicated public support in the U.S. for public water has a prompted economic development and advancing leaps in public health and safety. We must ensure that there is continued, and stronger,  investment in our public water systems.  

Now is the time for our elected officials need to step up and promote our most essential public service: public water and public water infrastructure. Promoting bottled water at the Presidential Inauguration entirely sends the wrong message.

Tens of thousands across the country have already made the commitment to go bottled water free, including universities, 140 cities as well as a body of mayors representing over 1,200 cities6 states and the Grand Canyon! Furthermore, over 60 mayors have joined a call to the President and Members of Congress to reinvest in our public water systems. Senator Charles E. Schumer and the Joint Congressional Committee on Inaugural Ceremonies must do the same.

Kristin Urquiza
Director, Think Outside the Bottle and Public Water Works!

Corporate Accountability International

Recent signatures


    1. Reached 250 signatures
    2. Letter sent to committee chair from DC Water and Corporate Accountability

      Hey Everyone -

      Thanks so much for signing and sharing! The story is being picked up in the media. The newest developments here are that General Manager of DC Water, George Hawkins along with Corporate Accountability International has sent a joint letter to the chair of the committee that made this decision, Senator Charles E. Schumer (D-NY).

      The media is framing the story as a battle between DC Water and the Committee; however, we all know that this is only partly true. Tens of thousands of people are behind the bottled water free call. But we need your help in demonstrating this call. Please share with your networks to build our list to reach our goal of 10,000 signers!



    3. Reached 100 signatures


    Reasons for signing

    • Michelle Garland WOLFEBORO, NH
      • about 2 years ago

      Bottled water is wasteful all around. It damages the environment, why use one time use plastic that needs to be processed, and transported, when the US has clean safe tap water. Save the money and the environment.

      • about 2 years ago

      People are under-educated and think that they are doing the right thing by drinking bottle water.

    • Alex Huang TAIPEI, TAIWAN
      • about 2 years ago

      Bottled water is just wasteful. Even as a 12-yr old kid, I can understand that.

    • Andrew Park TORONTO, CANADA
      • about 2 years ago

      I want politicians and policy-makers to lead by example.

    • Chartis Tebbetts COHASSET, MA
      • about 2 years ago

      appearances matter - bottled water is bad for us - it's expensive, wasteful, and undermines the will to invest in public drinking water systems.


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