Bottled Water Reporter (Spring 2022)

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W W W. B O T T L E D W AT E R . O R G


IN THIS ISSUE Consistent Swift Sustainability Advocacy Leads Communications Certifications Convey to Success Help Focus “Green” Practices Discussions



Promising research investigates link between low water intake and age-related physiological dysfunction

Also Inside:

Using Machine Learning to Predict How Much Water You Should Drink A PUBLICATION OF THE INTERNATIONAL BOTTLED WATER ASSOCIATION

VOL. 62 • NO. 1


24 | Trust the Process Why simple, constant advocacy leads to success. COMMUNICATIONS

26 | How IBWA’s Swift Communications Efforts Benefit You The association’s work to ensure water scarcity discussions focus on facts provides educational materials members can share. TECHNICAL UPDATE

28 | IBWA Offers Members Guidance on Available Sustainability Certifications Highlight your sustainability programs by investing in a third-party certification. BY THE NUMBERS

32 | Water Consumption Recommendations and Facts Research shows water consumption decreases as we age—but it shouldn’t.

TABLE OF CONTENTS 10 | Does Drinking Water Play a Critical Role in Healthy Aging? Research currently being conducted shows promise at demonstrating how drinking water has a positive impact on the health consequences associated with aging, such as Type 2 diabetes and heart disease. Members of the bottled water industry can use insights from this study to educate seniors and their caretakers about the benefits of healthy hydration. By Christine Umbrell

17 | Solving the Questions of Water Consumption Calculating the ideal amount of water you should consume throughout the day is more complicated, and more individualized, than you might think. Learn how research partially sponsored by the Drinking Water Research Foundation is using machine learning models to predict hydration status—and surprisingly, behavioral factors show more influence than physiological measurements. By Chris Torres

CHAIRMAN'S COMMENTARY ...............................2 PRESIDENT’S MESSAGE ......................................4 WATER NOTES ....................................................6 CPO QUIZ .........................................................30 ADVERTISERS ...................................................31 CALENDAR .......................................................31


BOTTLED WATER REPORTER, Volume 62, Number 1. Published four times a year by The Goetz Printing Company, 7939 Angus Court, Springfield, VA, 22153, for the International Bottled Water Association, 1700 Diagonal Road, Suite 650, Alexandria, VA 22314-2973. Tel: 703.683.5213, Fax: 703.683.4074, Subscription rate for members is $25 per year, which is included in the dues. U.S. and Canadian subscription rate to nonmembers is $50 per year. International subscription rate is $100 per year. Single copies are $7. POSTMASTER: Send address changes to Bottled Water Reporter, 1700 Diagonal Road, Suite 650, Alexandria, VA 22314-2973.


Environmental sustainability goals are a necessary and honorable practice; however, some green policies are unreasonable and doomed to fail. A few cities have considered bans on the sale of bottled water with goals to curb plastic waste and reduce their overall environmental footprint. Their intentions may be good, but advocates of such proposals make recommendations that are not based on reality. Here’s an example. Recycled content mandates are garnering a lot of legislative attention. Draft policy language I recently read recommended a 50 percent recycled content requirement for plastic water bottles. That goal in a “normal” year would be unachievable based solely on the competition for available recycled content. In fact, a 2019 report from the Recycling Partnership noted there’s an annual gap of more than 1 billion pounds between current U.S. supply and projected 2025 demand for rPET for use in bottles alone ( rPETdemand). That outlook means any proposed recycled content mandate would need to include the necessary safeguards and offramps for industry—and currently, none are in place. Whenever we speak with legislators and consumers, please remind them of the research-driven fact that not only is bottled water the healthiest packaged beverage choice but also it has the lowest environmental impact. IBWA members have access to research conducted by a third party that explicitly shows the process of manufacturing PET bottled water containers emits fewer greenhouse gases, uses less fossil fuel, and uses less water than what is used in the production of aluminum cans, beverage cartons, glass bottles, and PET soda bottles. You’ll want to share this graphic with them to emphasize the data points: Water scarcity is increasingly becoming a favored reason to justify proposing bottled water bans. But that’s an interesting choice—because bottled water has the lowest water use ratio of any packaged beverage. On average, it takes only 1.39 liters of water to produce 1 liter of finished bottled water (including the 1 liter of water consumed). Another reminder for those who think of us as water wasters: “an estimated 6 billion gallons of treated water are lost each day” via the U.S. public water infrastructure ( In all of 2021, Americans consumed 15.6 billion gallons of bottled water. That means in a little more than three days, public water systems lose more water than the entire U.S. bottled water industry sold in a year. If we want to make real progress with the environment, it’s time for some brutally honest conversations with legislators. We must proactively reach out to them and educate them on our industry best practices and environmental facts. IBWA can help you get those conversations started. Visit any of the association’s websites to arm yourselves with industry facts:,,, and



International Bottled Water Association OFFICERS Chairman CR Hall, Hall's Culligan Vice Chairman Henry R. Hidell, III, Hidell International Treasurer Brian Hess, Niagara Bottling LLC Immediate Past Chairman Robert Smith, Grand Springs Distribution

BOARD OF DIRECTORS Shayron Barnes-Selby, Primo Water North America Joe Bell, Aqua Filter Fresh, Inc. Michael Efron, The Waterways Company Doug Hidding, Blackhawk Molding Co. Dan Kelly, Polymer Solutions International Hih Song Kim, BlueTriton Brands Jillian Olsen, Cherry Ridge Consulting LLC David Redick, Steelhead, Inc. Lynn Wachtmann, Maumee Valley Bottlers, Inc. Brad Wester, Premium Waters, Inc. William Patrick Young, Absopure Water Co., Inc.

IBWA EXECUTIVE COMMITTEE Chairman CR Hall, Hall's Culligan Shayron Barnes-Selby, Primo Water North America Joe Bell, Aqua Filter Fresh, Inc. Brian Hess, Niagara Bottling LLC Henry R. Hidell, III, Hidell International Dan Kelly, Polymer Solutions International Hih Song Kim, BlueTriton Brands Robert Smith, Grand Springs Distribution Lynn Wachtmann, Maumee Valley Bottlers, Inc. William Patrick Young, Absopure Water Co., Inc.

COMMITTEE CHAIRS Communications Committee Julia Buchanan, Niagara Bottling, LLC Maureen Hendrix, Primo Water North America Education Committee Glen Davis, Absopure Water Co., Inc. Douglas R. Hupe, Aqua Filter Fresh Environmental Sustainability Committee John Cook, Niagara Bottling LLC Jillian Olsen, Cherry Ridge Consulting LLC Government Relations Committee Viola Johnson Jacobs, Primo Water North America Derieth Sutton, Niagara Bottling LLC. Membership Committee Marge Eggie, Polymer Solutions International Kelley Goshay, Primo Water North America State and Regional Associations Committee Robert Smith, Grand Springs Distribution Supplier and Convention Committee Joe Bell, Aqua Filter Fresh, Inc. Dan Kelly, Polymer Solutions International Technical Committee Glen Davis, Absopure Water Co., Inc. Ryan Schwaner, Niagara Bottling, LLC



Be inspired by your peers and experts alike at the IBWA Annual Business Conference and Trade Show, which is being held in conjunction with PACK EXPO. In our first in-person conference since 2019, IBWA will provide a space for industry professionals to come together and discuss the lessons we’ve learned and discover how to evolve your business model to reflect the needs of the post-COVID consumer.


PRESIDENT’S MESSAGE HEALTHY HYDRATION IS FOR EVERY SEASON By the time this issue of Bottled Water Reporter (BWR) reaches your mailbox, we’ll be days away from spring. As we shuffle off our winter coats and head outdoors to take advantage of the longer days, now is a great time to reiterate the many health benefits of choosing “water first for thirst.” In our cover story, “Does Drinking Water Play a Critical Role in Healthy Aging?” (p.10), Evan Johnson, PhD, an associate professor in the Division of Kinesiology and Health at the University of Wyoming, reveals encouraging findings from his research on a possible link between low water intake and various forms of dysfunction as individuals age. This study has the potential to show that increased water consumption has a positive effect on Type 2 diabetes and kidney and heart health. Because dehydration is often a cause of hospitalization among elderly people, it’s important that we educate people on how a long-term increase in fluid intake to meet or exceed recommended daily water goals could potentially mitigate some of the negative health consequences associated with aging.


International Bottled Water Association BOTTLED WATER REPORTER is published for: International Bottled Water Association 1700 Diagonal Road, Suite 650 Alexandria, VA 22314-2973. Tel: 703.683.5213 Fax: 703.683.4074

IBWA STAFF President Joe Doss Senior Vice President of Education, Science, and Technical Relations Robert R. Hirst Vice President of Communications Jill Culora Vice President of Government Relations Cory Martin Director of Conferences, Programs, and Office Administration Michele Campbell

“Solving the Questions of Water Consumption” (p.17) is tackled in our second feature, which reviews new research using predictive machine learning and analytics to determine what makes someone a low or high water drinker. This research, which is partially funded by the Drinking Water Research Foundation, has Michael Bergeron, PhD, a clinical and scientific advisor in the Department of Performance Health for the Women’s Tennis Association (WTA), and Colleen Muñoz, PhD, an associate professor in the Department of Health Sciences at the University of Hartford, examining common and novel hydration biomarkers to characterize optimal hydration, related chronic health status or risk, and how well hydration status can be predicted when taking several factors into account (e.g., gender, race, height, weight, diet, perceptions, and behaviors). This study will be a helpful tool to use when advocating for the development of daily water intake guidelines, such as the Dietary Guidelines for Americans.

Director of Government Relations J.P. Toner

The insight you garner from the above articles will make for great conversation starters when participating in meetings with your elected officials, as discussed in our Government Relations column (p.24). The Communications column (p.26) provides insight into the work IBWA is doing to ensure the facts about our industry’s low water use is included in any water scarcity discussions. And our Technical Update column (p.28) introduces the “IBWA Sustainability Certifications Guidance,” which reviews available third-party certifications that may be of interest to bottler and supplier members as part of their overall sustainability program.

Bottled Water Reporter Layout and Design Rose McLeod Tel: 315.447.4385

I hope you enjoy reading this issue of BWR. But more importantly, I hope you find within these pages bottled water facts you can use to educate your consumers, legislators, and others about the benefits of water consumption.


Director of Science and Research Al Lear Director of Communications Sabrina E. Hicks Director of Member Services Cheryl Bass Communications Coordinator Chris Torres

Editor Sabrina E. Hicks Advertising Sales Stephanie Schaefer

The success of the bottled water industry is only possible because of the great work of your employees! Let’s RECOGNIZE their contributions and BE INSPIRED by their achievements! Submit your nominations for the following awards: • Route Salesperson of the Year • IBWA / Selby Advocacy Award ("The Selby") • Plant Manager of the Year • IBWA / Kristin Safran Directors’ Award • Supplier of the Year • IBWA’s Up-and-Comer Recognition • Environmental Stewardship Award • Bottled Water Hall of Fame • Product Innovation Award

Nomination Deadline: June 17 | Awards ceremony will take place during the General Session of the 2022 IBWA Annual Business Conference and Trade Show, October 24-27 in Chicago.



Hawaii Considers Recycled Content Mandate; Approves IBWA Amendment In February, IBWA submitted comments expressing concerns about two bills regarding plastic that would impact the bottled water industry in Hawaii, which were being considered by the state’s House Committee on Energy and Environmental Protection. One of those bills (House Bill 1706), which would have banned single-use plastic bottles and rigid plastic containers in the state, was deferred by the Committee and likely will not see further action during the 2022 legislative session. The 6 • BWR • WWW.BOTTLEDWATER.ORG

other proposed legislation was House Bill 1642, which would establish a recycled content mandate for all types of materials used for beverage containers. HB 1642 was approved by the Committee with important amendments, including one requested by IBWA. The mandate was originally planned to begin December 31, 2026, at 15 percent; increase to 25 percent by December 31, 2031; and reach a high of 50 percent on January 1, 2032. With the amendments, the bill now includes language

that excludes caps and labels from the mandate, an issue that IBWA asked for in testimony and has been the standard for most states approving recycled content mandate legislation. Additional amendments included applying the mandate only to products that are part of the state’s deposit program and pushing back the starting date of the initial 15 percent mark to 2028, which in turn moved back the date for the 25 percent mandate to 2033, and 50 percent to 2035. IBWA still has concerns with HB 1642, as it fails to

consider the current state of recycled content material manufacturing on the islands; lacks detailed information on mandate review, penalties, and petitions; and does not include necessary guardrails and offramps for industry. Thus, IBWA staff will continue to work with allies and lawmakers to educate legislators in Hawaii on industry concerns, with the aim to improve the measure in its additional committees of referral. For a copy of the association’s testimony, members can contact IBWA Director of Government Relations J.P. Toner: jtoner@



Recycled Content Mandates Move Forward in California and Washington; Here's What to Expect The first two states to approve recycled content mandates for plastic beverage containers, California and Washington, are moving forward with rulemaking proceedings. IBWA members need to be aware of the current status of each mandate and what will be expected of producers in the coming months. California. Director of CalRecycle Rachel Machi Wagoner has stated that it is her understanding that caps and labels were intended to be included in the mandate, although many arguments have been made against their inclusion. Due to the lack of cap and label resin recycling technology in California, this is an issue. Several barriers exist, such as the need for food grade quality material, thinness of labels, lack of recycling infrastructure, and the chemical makeup of products for “cap to cap” and “label to label.” Wagoner, who wants to spend time and advocacy on “removing barriers to full recyclability of labels and caps,” suggests the industry bring forward any technological/manufacturing concerns then have an open discussion on feasibility, what can be achieved currently, and any barriers that exist. In a letter to CalRecycle, IBWA has noted the error of including caps and labels within the mandate by addressing the industry issues listed above and stated our concerns with the department’s proposal of who is allowed to petition regarding waivers and mandate reviews. The draft rules for the mandate in California are currently being reviewed by the Office of Administrative Law. CalRecycle expects the rules will be finalized this fall.

Washington. On February 24, March 10, and March 23, the state’s Department of Ecology (DOE) is offering an online review of the steps that will be taken in the coming months to address its recycled content mandate. The presentation covers several topics, including manufacturer and producer registration, expected timeline for rulemaking, DOE’s workload analysis as it pertains to rulemaking, and ways industry can be involved in the process. All producers of covered products that are sold, offered for sale, or distributed in Washington must register with DOE by April 1, 2022. Based on its workload analysis, DOE has determined how to equitably charge producers for the initial cost of rulemaking, which is expected to total around $600,000 for 2023. Invoices for this fee are expected to be sent to producers by late April with a payment due in late May. DOE will also be convening an advisory committee to assist in final rulemaking. This committee, along with public comments received, will help to determine regulations for the mandates. The committee will meet at least quarterly to gather input and concerns for the creation of the rule. Anyone may attend advisory committee meetings and provide comments. IBWA members that have questions about the California and Washington recycled content mandates can contact IBWA Director of Government Relations J.P. Toner: jtoner@


Renew Your IBWA Membership All IBWA members have been notified via email, USPS mail, and articles in the association’s weekly News Splash e-newsletter that it is time to renew your membership. By renewing now, you help ensure that IBWA can continue to aggressively defend the bottled water industry against all negative proposals and proactively communicate the facts about our products to consumers, the media, government officials, and activist groups. If you haven’t yet returned your completed membership form to IBWA Director of Membership Services Cheryl Bass, please do so at your earliest convenience:

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Groups Petition FDA to Restrict BPA in Food Packaging


A group of non-government organizations has filed a food additive petition with the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), asking the agency to remove or restrict its approvals for the use of bisphenol A (BPA) in all food-contact materials, including adhesives, coatings,

and resins commonly used in food packaging, manufacturing, and storage. The petitioners requested an expedited review by FDA. Among the groups involved are the Environmental Working Group (EWG) and Consumer Reports. The petition asks FDA to consider the following change regarding 21 CFR § 177.1580, which concerns polycarbonate resins used as articles or components of articles intended for use in producing, manufacturing, packing, processing, preparing, treating, packaging, transporting, or holding food: • Insert a new paragraph (e) establishing a specific migration limit of 0.5 nanograms per kilogram of food (.5 ng/L for water), tailored to the resins covered by this section. • If the specific migration limit is below the limit of quantification using the most sensitive method, the

concentration must be below the limit of quantification. FDA is required by statute to respond to the petition within 180 days, at which time it may ask for more information prior to making a final decision. This petition ( BPA), which would impact IBWA members using polycarbonate 3- and 5-gallon bottles, is based on a draft study by European Food Safety Authority (EFSA): “Re-evaluation of the risks to public health related to the presence of bisphenol A (BPA) in foodstuffs.” IBWA will continue to monitor this effort and will oppose the unreasonable request these groups are seeking to impose. Read the draft EFSA BPA opinion by visiting this link and then downloading the document at the bottom of the page:


IBWA’s Hydrate The States Campaign Tackles Water Scarcity Misinformation Anticipating an unwarranted backlash similar to what was experienced in 2015 when the bottled water industry was falsely identified as a contributor to water scarcity issues at that time, IBWA has been daily monitoring water crisis reports detailing any impact on the western part of the United States. Currently, water scarcity discussions are concerned with water users such as agriculture and cannabis production. When bottled water is mentioned in news reports, it is usually in reference to how bottled water products are needed due to dry wells, a boil alert, and salty well water or golf courses handing out more bottled water than usual. IBWA worked to determine that the following 10 states are currently the most drought affected: California, Oregon, Washington, Nevada, Arizona, New Mexico, Utah, Montana, Idaho, and North Dakota. IBWA has developed a campaign strategy in order to be prepared for anticipated negative backlash. Campaign activities include developing a campaign website 8 • BWR • WWW.BOTTLEDWATER.ORG

(; undertaking a consumer poll to measure water scarcity concern sentiment among people living in the 10 states and help guide messaging for social media efforts, graphic design, and video production; and funding for a social media advertising strategy to ensure industry facts are readily accessible. Any questions concerning the Hydrate The States campaign should be forwarded to IBWA Vice President of Communications Jill Culora:



Shayron Barnes-Selby Receives Berkeley Springs Lifetime Achievement Award On February 26, Shayron Barnes-Selby (Primo Water) received the prestigious Lifetime Achievement Award during the 2022 Berkeley Springs International Water Tasting, held in Berkeley Springs, West Virginia. The award is presented for ongoing distinguished contributions to the water industry. During the event, Barnes-Selby also gave a presentation on "The Intersection of Bottled Water and ESG (Environmental, Social, and Governance)." Barnes-Selby, a former IBWA chairwoman and current IBWA Board of Directors and Executive Committee member, was recognized for her invaluable contributions to the bottled water industry during the event’s award ceremony. In addition to promoting the efforts of Primo Water, Banes-Selby tirelessly

advocates on behalf of IBWA and the bottled water industry. The association has greatly benefited from her time and talent, most notably when she served as IBWA chairwoman, co-chair of the IBWA Government Relations Committee, and co-chair of the IBWA Political Action Committee. Through her efforts to educate legislators and regulators about bottled water to ensure they understand industry issues when developing policy, Barnes-Selby has been, and continues to be, an important and influential voice for the bottled water industry. In 2006, Barnes-Selby was awarded the IBWA Directors’ Award for her advocacy efforts and commitment to the bottled water industry. She was the first recipient of IBWA’s Advocacy Award in 2014, which has subsequently been

Shayron Barnes-Selby

named “The Selby” in her honor. In 2016, she was elected to serve as IBWA chairwoman, becoming the second woman to hold this position in the trade association’s 63-year history. In 2018, Barnes-Selby was inducted into the IBWA Bottled Water Hall of Fame. For more information about the Berkeley Springs International Water Tasting event, visit


Don’t Miss Out on IBWA Advocacy Activities and News When industry advocacy news happens—or there’s an opportunity to participate in an IBWA advocacy event—make sure you get the alert! Download the IBWA advocacy app (VoterVoice) to have one-touch access to grassroots letters, industry advocacy events, and news regarding IBWA’s efforts in Congress and the states. Download the app in three easy steps: 1. Search for “votervoice” (one word) in your mobile phone’s app store or use one of these links: Google Play ( or iTunes ( VoterVoice). 2. After you have downloaded the app, you will be prompted to enter your email address. A verification code will be sent to that email account.

3. After verifying your email, you will be brought to a “Find Association” page. Start typing in “International Bottled Water Association” and an option for International Bottled Water Association will appear directly below where you were typing. Click the full name and you’ll then have access to all of the information included on the mobile app. If you have any questions regarding this app or IBWA’s advocacy activities, please contact IBWA Vice President of Government Relations Cory Martin: cmartin@

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Does Drinking Water Play a Critical Role in Healthy Aging? Amid a growing senior population, the bottled water industry can play a key role in educating older Americans about the benefits of healthy hydration By Christine Umbrell

While everyone might be aware that drinking water is a healthy habit, people probably don’t fully realize the critical role water consumption can play in healthy aging. But Evan Johnson, PhD, an associate professor in the Division of Kinesiology and Health at the University of Wyoming, is working to fix that. “When we think of the word ‘nourishment,’ we traditionally think of nutrition physiology surrounding macro-nutrients, such as carbohydrates, proteins, and fats,” he says. “But over the past 13 years, hydration for health has brought into the window that water should be a part of this as well.”

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Our thirst sensation decreases as we age, and that’s problematic because research shows that adequate water consumption contributes to overall health in many ways. Johnson studies the positive benefits of hydration for seniors. Part of his research centers on hydration and its effect on thermoregulation (i.e., the maintenance or regulation of body temperature), as well as the effect of water intake on diabetes and kidney disease. While the current research tying water intake to healthy aging is in its early stages, Johnson asserts that water is a key ingredient of a healthy lifestyle: “We have seen there is a benefit to meeting or exceeding fluid goals.” This concept is particularly important for senior Americans, who are most likely to fall short of water

intake goals, according to Johnson. Seniors are at greater risk for dehydration because of how body composition changes with age, according to the Cleveland Clinic. Water is instrumental for performing bodily functions, such as lubricating joints, regulating body temperature, and pumping blood to muscles; however, because older adults have less water in their bodies than younger adults (due to a natural decrease in muscle mass)—and because the thirst sensation also decreases with age—dehydration is a common cause of hospitalization among elderly people. For those reasons, it’s important to educate older Americans and their caregivers about the importance of drinking enough water. Bottled water companies have the unique opportunity to spread this important information through their marketing efforts. Reminding consumers of the benefits of healthy hydration and making their products available in communities of older Americans, senior living facilities, and other environments with high populations of individuals 65 and older.

Setting Targets, Boosting Health How much water should seniors be drinking each day? The “right” amount is a moving target, depending on factors such as physical activity level, climate, and caloric intake, says Johnson, but he points to the recommendations from the National Academy of Medicine (NAM) [formerly the

Can Low Water Intake Be Directly Related Through Dysfunction to Aging?

Low Water Intake





Institute of Medicine (IOM)] for people ages 19 and older. The NAM suggests approximately 131 ounces for men and 95 ounces for women of overall fluid intake per day, including all food and beverages that contain water, like fruits or vegetables. Of that total, individuals should drink at least eight or nine cups of water a day, says Johnson. Unfortunately, many seniors are not reaching those hydration goals. Johnson points to a 2016 article published by the National Center for Health Statistics, which found that as individuals age, they consume less water ( NCHS_2016). Men aged 60 and over consumed less water than men aged 20-39 and 40-59, and women aged 60 and over consumed less water than women aged 20-39 and 4059. “In both men and women, we see a precipitous drop-off in water consumption,” notes Johnson, who adds that thirst may be impaired due to aging. “Later in life, we see rises in thirst are delayed.” The fact that our thirst sensation decreases as we age is particularly problematic because research has shown that adequate water consumption contributes to overall health in many ways. Johnson is currently investigating the link between low water intake and various forms of dysfunction as individuals age. “Over time, aging is related to lower water intake. Aging is also related to physiological dysfunction. Low water intake can cause dysfunction,” he explains. “What we don’t know yet is how reduced water intake can be directly related to aging. Can we follow that

Increased intake of sugar-sweetened beverages is associated with many disease states. Anytime we can replace a sugar-sweetened beverage with water, that’s going to have a net positive effect. path? There’s a call to arms to encourage others to look at how low water intake can influence dysfunction.” Part of Johnson’s research has focused on the influence of hydration on health, specifically regarding people with Type 2 diabetes. He has studied what would happen if some of those individuals increased their water intake. “We were able to see that there was a benefit related to increasing water intake, or meeting fluid recommendations, for those individuals,” say Johnson. “That was the ‘aha!’ moment for me, when I saw that this could really have a clinical impact.”

Benefits of Adequate Hydration for the Older Population Although scientists are just beginning to really look into how adequate water consumption can have a beneficial impact on healthy aging, there’s promising data that shows drinking water has a positive impact on the following health consequences associated with aging: • balance • cognitive abilities • kidney disease • diabetes

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Tips for Prioritizing Water Consumption Evan Johnson, PhD, who studies the health benefits of hydration, offers several suggestions on how seniors and other individuals can drink enough water each day. Start the day with water. “I know that ➲ the best way to get myself on track for the day is to have my first drink of the day be water,” says Johnson. “It’s the same thing” as prioritizing tasks at work, he says. He suggests drinking your first bottle or glass of water even before morning coffee, “because if I wait to drink water later, I’m going to drink less. If I have water before coffee, then I’m on the positive side to start the day.” Check your urine. “It’s really easy ➲ to know when you’re not drinking enough water,” says Johnson. “If your urine is darkcolored, you need to increase your water intake. If your urine is lighter, you’re doing a great job.” Don’t rely on “drinking to thirst.” ➲ Thirst can be delayed in the older population, as well as among individuals physically exerting themselves. Adhere to a hydration plan instead, with a goal of at least eight cups of water per day. Grab a bottle of water to replace ➲ sugar-sweetened drinks. The research is clear: increased intake of sugar-sweetened beverages is associated with many disease states. Thus, we should encourage people of all ages, but especially seniors, to increase their consumption of plain water. “Anytime we can replace a sugar-sweetened beverage with water, that’s going to have a net positive effect,” Johnson explains.

Installing more 5-gallon jugs throughout nursing homes could make it easier for residents and staff to more readily access water. For individuals with diabetes who do not drink enough water, the glucose in their bloodstream becomes more concentrated, leading to higher blood sugar levels. “We know that increased water can suppress your secretion of a hormone called AVP, or antidiuretic hormone—the hormone that helps us retain water,” Johnson explains. “So, if you drink more water your body does not need to retain as much water,” which offers two clear benefits to diabetes patients. “First, AVP can also stimulate the hormone cortisol, which is a stress hormone, which is independently associated with increased blood glucose levels. Second—and we’re still working on this as one of our potential mechanisms for increased water intake with diabetes patients—is that, if you increase your water input, you’ll increase your water output. And especially with uncontrolled diabetes, that can result in more urine glucose excretion. There could be some potential benefit to this because then it’s not staying in your blood and having potential consequences for hyperglycemia.” Aside from diabetes, Johnson also is studying body water regulation in relation to other morbidities impacting some older adults, including nocturia (a condition that causes you to wake up during the night to urinate) and kidney disease. “We have some evidence that there’s a relationship between water intake and kidney health—for example, chronic kidney disease,” he says. “There’s little data, but there seems to be some relationship between water intake and cardiovascular disease as well. That relationship is not quite as clear as kidney disease.” Of course, all seniors with medical conditions should follow the guidance of their doctors regarding water intake. Studying the benefits of increased water consumption is an area “that’s just starting to blossom as far as research is concerned,” according to Johnson; however, its importance cannot be overstated because older adults are less likely to



meet their fluid intake needs. “We also know that there are a number of health consequences that we consider to be part of general aging” that may be influenced by hydration, he says. “Some of those health consequences have also been linked to fluid intake”—for example, cognitive issues and balance. Balance issues have been explored by a research team at University of Cincinnati College of Medicine, who found that hydration may help prevent falls among seniors. In the article, “Association Between Dehydration and Falls,” Irene Hamrick, MD, and her colleagues identified a positive association between dehydration and falls ( Dehydration). Their research concludes that, “More than one-third of older adults in this cohort [study] were dehydrated, with a strong association between dehydration and falls. Understanding and addressing the risks associated with dehydration, including falls, has potential for improving quality of life for patients as they age.” While much of such research is in its early stages, Johnson’s team believes a long-term increase in fluid intake to meet or exceed recommended daily water goals could potentially mitigate some of the negative health consequences associated with aging. “That data is ‘not there’ yet, but it’s very encouraging to think of something as simple as increased fluid intake as being potentially beneficial.”

How Bottled Water Companies Can Help Given what we know about the importance of meeting hydration goals, entities that want to help older

populations understand the importance of healthy hydration can do three things, says Johnson: First, “we need to educate regarding water intake recommendations,” such as those from NAM (formerly IOM), he says. Second, “we should encourage physical activity,” which is important for older adults’ physical health but also drives thirst among this population, so it may help increase water intake, suggest Johnson. And third, “we need to enhance access to clean water,” he says. “If people have access to clean, healthy, nutritious water, we know they are going to drink more.” Regarding education, “increasing plain water intake is definitely something that should be encouraged,” Johnson says. He recommends that seniors consider drinking water rather than sugary beverages. “The research is pretty clear on sugar-sweetened beverages—that increased intake of those is associated with many disease states. So anytime we can replace a sugar-sweetened beverage with water, that’s going to have a net positive effect.” In addition, Johnson says that people who drink plain water tend to get closer to their daily recommendations for water. “It has to do with developing the fluid preference overall, and developing that habit,” he says. Johnson notes that convincing older Americans to meet or exceed recommended hydration guidelines may be a challenge due to the increased prevalence among that population of nocturia (i.e., urination at night). His team is investigating how to create lifestyle habits that make it SPRING 2022 • BWR • 15

Seniors who meet daily water guidelines can prevent dehydration, promote balance and cognitive abilities, and possibly ameliorate some health conditions. possible to continue drinking to recommendations, while also engaging in other healthy behaviors like physical activity. The most important message to send, he says, is that plain water is part of a healthy lifestyle. Johnson suggests that bottled water companies reach out to retirement communities, senior living facilities, or other types of senior housing to share the importance of hydration. “In some senior living facilities, we see anecdotal evidence that the importance of drinking water and fluids is emphasized less because it results in an increased amount of bathroom visits—and potentially increased work for the staff that works there, if they have to more frequently help people get to the bathroom,” he says. “The immediate effects of decreased water intake are not glaringly obvious—there’s a slow drip of negative health consequences associated with low water intake.” But increasing water intake might be beneficial for the residents’ overall health, even if that makes it more challenging for the staff. Bottled water companies should share the message with senior living facilities that, for the health of the residents, hydration must be a priority. “It’s part of a healthy lifestyle—just as meeting your step count, and your food recommendations per day, you should get your water,” Johnson explains. “These are things that are all equally important.” Johnson also suggests installing more 5-gallon jugs throughout facilities to make it easier for residents and staff to access water. “There was a fantastic study a few years ago from the New England Journal of Medicine where they put water-filling station with jets in schools, where students could fill up their own bottles.” Researchers found that making it more easily accessible for schoolchildren to fill up water bottles reduced their intake of sugar-sweetened beverages. 16 • BWR • WWW.BOTTLEDWATER.ORG

“Five-gallon jugs are a great example” of how to make water more accessible, safely, in communities where older Americans reside, he says. “If we were able to do that with employees in large office buildings or for older adults, making it easy to access clean, cool water,” via water coolers or refrigerators with bottled water, more individuals could meet their hydration goals.

More to Come While research on the specific benefits of water consumption for seniors with various health conditions is still underway, it’s clear that older Americans should be encouraged to meet daily water guidelines as part of a healthy lifestyle. Seniors who do so can prevent dehydration, promote balance and cognitive abilities, and possibly ameliorate some health conditions. “We want to have grand statements that drinking more water will reduce cancer or cure diseases, but we don’t have that data,” says Johnson. Many studies on the health benefits of water, as it relates to diseases, are underway, “but we don’t have results yet,” says Johnson. The hypothesis is that meeting or exceeding water recommendations could help lessen the negative impact of some of these diseases—so bottled water companies should consider getting a head start and educating seniors about the many benefits of water consumption. BWR

Christine Umbrell is a freelance writer based in Herndon, Virginia. Email her at

LEARN MORE • Hamrick I, Norton D, Birstler J, Chen G, Cruz L, and Hanrahan L. “Association Between Dehydration and Falls.” Mayo Clinic Proceedings: Innovations, Quality & Outcomes. 5 June 2020. PMC7283563. • The National Academy of Medicine [formerly the Institute of Medicine (IOM)]. “Dietary References Intakes for Water, Potassium, Sodium, Chloride, and Sulfate.” www.nap. edu/read/10925/chapter/6. • Rosinger A and Herrick K. “Daily Water Intake Among U.S. Men and Women, 20092013.” NCHS Data Brief, April 2016. https://




For years, the common recommendation has been that you should drink at least eight 8-ounce glasses of water per day to be adequately hydrated. Drinking those 64 ounces of water a day was the goal—no matter your gender, race, weight, or the environment you live in. But due to advancements in technology in recent decades, along with new discoveries about the human body and its uses of and needs for water, the quest to determine the ideal amount of water that one should consume throughout the day has become a more complicated, and a more individualized, issue. Patrick Goguillon is president of retail at DS Waters in Atlanta and co-chair of IBWA’s Environmental Sustainability and Communications Committees. SPRING 2022 • BWR • 17

QUESTIONNAIRE QUICK TAKES A study currently being conducted by Michael Bergeron, PhD, and Colleen Muñoz, PhD, and partially funded by the Drinking Water Research Foundation, includes a questionnaire that asks participants a series of questions to determine behavioral trends and other distinctive characteristics between low- and high-water drinkers. Below is a summary of some of their preliminary findings. Most high-water drinkers: • Drink fluids at least once per hour when awake. • Drink fluids even when they aren’t thirsty. • Believe they consume more than 64 oz. of fluids per day. • Have confidence they are well-hydrated on a typical day. • Are used to drinking fluids regularly and don’t have to think about it. • Have a habit of drinking fluid regularly. • Are not often too busy to get a drink. Most low-water drinkers: • Believe they consume less than 64 oz. of fluids per day. • Do not think they are well-hydrated on a typical day. • Are more likely to stay hydrated if someone checks with them about their fluid intake. Both high- and low-water drinkers equally said the following: • They usually have a beverage within arm’s reach. • Carrying a bottle with them during the day doesn’t bother them. • Carrying a bottle during the day makes them more likely to stay hydrated. • Seeing other people drinking fluids encourages them to also drink fluids. • They dislike using the restroom often because of drinking and will avoid drinking if they know they won’t be near a restroom. • They think it’s important to have clear activity and daily fluid consumption goals. • Monitoring their fluid consumption helps them stay hydrated.

Today, expert opinions vary on how much water men and women should drink, and those recommendations are typically determined because more criteria (e.g., gender, age, health status, and physical activity) are now considered. But even when you include those factors, the answer to “how much water should I drink a day?” is still not fully realized. Two scientists working on behalf of the Drinking Water Research Foundation (DWRF)—a nonprofit that educates the public about drinking water (including bottled water, tap water, and filtered water) and the associated health benefits of consuming water— are learning more about individualized hydration; what makes someone a high or low daily water drinker; and how artificial intelligence (AI) and predictive machine learning models and advanced analytics, which use statistical learning to predict outcomes, can help make those determinations. Taking on this project are Michael Bergeron, PhD, a clinical and scientific advisor in the Department of Performance Health for the Women’s Tennis Association (WTA), and Colleen Muñoz, PhD, an associate professor in the Department of Health Sciences at the University of Hartford. Both have backgrounds in exercise and performance-based research and health promotion, and the role of hydration has been an integral part of their previous studies. Their current work examines common and novel hydration biological markers (referred to as “biomarkers”) in characterizing optimal hydration, related chronic health status or risk, and how well hydration profiles can be predicted when taking several factors into account (e.g., gender, race, height, weight, diet, perceptions, and behaviors). What intrigued DWRF about this project was that for the first time, original data collection from healthy young adults of diverse backgrounds would



University of Hartford students and future healthcare providers (from left) Joana Lalaj, Kyle Murphy, Beata Abramek, and Cameron McFarlane collected dietary data and blood and urine samples daily from participants of the research project.

be combined with comprehensive data mining, AI, and machine learning to address the important topic of water intake for human health. Papers explaining the novel research results are being submitted to recognized peer-reviewed scientific journals for publication. The articles from those outlets could be posted on the DWRF, IBWA, and other websites for the public and IBWA members to use to promote healthy hydration information to their customers. In addition, the important research initiative will be helpful leverage when advocating for the development of daily water intake guidelines that reinforce effective drinking water behavior and highlight the associated acute and long-term health benefits of water consumption.

Why Measuring Hydration Is Important Many currently available hydration studies and guidelines offer valuable

HYDRATION BEHAVIOR AND PATTERNS ARE MORE INDIVIDUALIZED THAN PREVIOUSLY THOUGHT; THUS, A ONE-SIZE-FITS-ALL RECOMMENDATION IS NOT APPROPRIATE OR EFFECTIVE. insight, but they can also be viewed as isolated one-offs that try to categorize people into different groups based on a small set of simplified criteria. But hydration and health are not that simple, Bergeron says. Due to the complexity of measuring adequate water intake and the relevance of more than several complex biological and behavioral systems and factors (with some mattering more than others at various times), Bergeron and Muñoz

are employing a multidomain approach for this research. One area of the study examines biomarkers in the blood. A biomarker is an objective measure that captures what’s happening in a cell or an organism during a given moment. Biomarkers are important because they can serve as early warning systems for your health. For example, if too much iron is found in your blood, then you may need to be tested for nervous system and cognitive SPRING 2022 • BWR • 19

A BRAHMS Kryptor, the gold standard equipment for the measurement of highly valuable biomarkers (such as plasma copeptin) was partially funded by DWRF.

RESEARCH PARTICIPANTS UNDERWENT FIVE CONSECUTIVE DAYS OF OBSERVATION AND DATA COLLECTION WHILE PERFORMING THEIR NORMAL DAILY ROUTINES. disorders. Bergeron and Muñoz are also exploring how an individual’s hydration knowledge, attitudes, and behaviors affect his or her routine water consumption. This is a novel approach, as most hydration recommendations don’t factor an individual’s perceptions and attitudes, or self-awareness tendencies and practices. 20 • BWR • WWW.BOTTLEDWATER.ORG

Bergeron and Muñoz are using AI and predictive machine learning to analyze all the data gathered from study participants to then classify them as low- or high-water drinkers. They are also able to ascertain what factors matter most when determining if someone is a lowor high-water drinker. Both researchers believe that the lack of more robust

knowledge about high- and low-water drinkers challenge current guidelines. Muñoz states that this project could also help us learn more about the relationship between hydration and chronic health risks. “There’s a lot that’s involved with hydration that’s not so clear,” Bergeron says. “Whether you’re talking about guidelines, health-related issues . . . clarity and precision with all of that has been fairly elusive. Part of the reason is that [the topic of hydration] is extraordinarily complex.” However, he notes that technological advances with analytics and AI/machine learning tools can shed light on some of the fundamental and ambiguous characteristics of hydration.

Bergeron and Muñoz began this DWRF study in 2019, and they completed the data collection stage shortly before the COVID-19 pandemic began in 2020. Research participants underwent five consecutive days of observation and data collection while performing their normal daily routines. The purpose of the study was not disclosed to participants because researchers wanted to receive unbiased data. Subjects provided blood and 24hour urine samples each day, along with first-morning urine that is traditionally identified as a good indicator of hydration status. In addition, they documented their sleep, thirst, physical activity, food and beverage intake, how long they were outdoors or indoors, along with other measurements. Participants also completed three questionnaires related to their hydration knowledge, behaviors, and perceptions. From the 10 algorithms used to analyze and sort the data, the highest performing resulting models ranged from 84 to 87.5 percent accuracy in predicting whether the participants were generally low or high consumers of fluids. A surprise to both Bergeron and Muñoz was that a closer look at the models showed that, of all the data and measurements considered, the factors related to behaviors, attitudes, and beliefs about hydration consistently carried more priority and influence with the models than any of the physiological measurements (e.g., blood concentration and thirst level). “We both went through our education process thinking that your blood concentration is going to be your biggest determinant in beverage intake because that’s what your brain is sensing that's telling you you’re thirsty,” says Bergeron. But that wasn’t apparently the case here, and Bergeron admits, “That was a big surprise. . . and a finding that conflicts

WHY WATER INTAKE COULD HELP MITIGATE MUSCLE LOSS As we get older, we develop sarcopenia, an age-dependent loss of muscle mass and function. The risk factors for sarcopenia include age, gender, and level of physical activity ( Fortunately, drinking water can have a positive impact on this naturally occurring condition. Sarcopenia is driven in part by circulating reductions in the hormone apelin, which can be used as an early diagnostic support tool for identifying this condition. Apelin is also a known fluid balance hormone and is thought to increase in concentration with elevated water intake, meaning that a lack of hydration can also be a contributor to sarcopenia. Along with hydration, routine exercise is another way to help increase apelin and combat sarcopenia. The impact of routine hydration practices on apelin, however, has not yet been addressed in chronic health publications.

with and contrasts to what many people think, and certainly to what’s been generally promoted.” “We really don’t have a good grasp on how much we should be drinking on a daily basis,” says Muñoz. “That’s quite evident when you look at the guidelines from different countries. We also know, and it’s notable, that we don’t see water a lot in the [U.S.] national guidelines. So, from that standpoint, it’s interesting that we don’t prioritize learning more about water and its impact on health to make it more prominent in official dietary recommendations.” Although the 2020-2025 Dietary Guidelines for Americans (DGAs) include several mentions of water in reference to the importance of establishing a healthy diet, it does not make any specific recommendations on how much water should be consumed. And currently, water is not featured on the MyPlate nutrition graphic, a very prominent public resource that stems from the DGAs. IBWA is actively working to have water added to MyPlate, in addition to diary.


SPRING 2022 • BWR • 21


Study Details

How Much Water Should You Drink? Bergeron and Muñoz’s findings show there’s a lot more to learn about water consumption and hydration. Their research also demonstrates that hydration behavior and patterns are more individualized than previously thought; thus, a one-size-fits-all recommendation is not appropriate or effective.

University of Hartford research assistant Hinal Rana measures plasma apelin from collected blood samples.


Based on her past work, Muñoz suggests that people should drink at least 2 liters (basically 8.5 cups) of water per day; however, other hydration experts around the world would offer other recommendations. Just as the DGAs help shape policy and dietary recommendations in the United States, the Eatwell Guide is a policy tool used to define government recommendations on eating healthily and achieving a balanced diet to U.K. citizens—and it suggests drinking 6-8 cups of fluid per day ( Canada’s Dietary Guidelines take a similar approach to the DGAs, recommending water as the beverage of choice but acknowledging that the amount one may need to consume per day to be hydrated can vary based on environmental conditions and other factors ( CA_DietaryGuidelines). A set of people living in the same environment and conditions drinking the same amount of water can have varying states of hydration due to the unique characteristics of each individual. The differing influential impacts and complex relationships among an integrated set of variables, Bergeron and Muñoz note, are why analytics and modern technology have entered this space. Although this project doesn’t make conclusive determinations, Muñoz says that their research has revealed “small pieces” showing that optimal hydration could help lessen risk factors for some chronic diseases (e.g., heart disease), health con-

Helping Shape the Future of Hydration Learning “We can go for days, weeks, or even months without some nutrients, but we can only go a few days without water,” says Muñoz. Even with all that we know about the benefits of water consumption today, it is absent from some prominent forms of guidance, such as the MyPlate nutrition graphic. IBWA will be able to use this research when talking with policymakers to help them understand why the topic of healthy

hydration should be included in any nutritional guideline. Active promotion of the benefits of water consumption in U.S. nutritional guidance materials is especially important because research shows that 54.4 percent of children are not adequately hydrated throughout the day ( Bergeron also thinks it’s possible to use this research in the development of a user-friendly tool, such as a mobile application—and it would be unlike any hydration app currently available. “People might be providing just four or five simple things [e.g., water intake, gender, weight, etc.] in some kind of hydration tool, but the reasoning and value behind those simple items is the extensive research in validating their utility, giving us the confidence to say ‘yes,’ based on those four or five metrics, under these conditions, these

are recommendations specific to you,” says Bergeron. “You’re never going to have people in the real world replicate everything we’re going to look at— from genetics to behavioral indicators, or other physiological measures. But if you’re going to use something like first morning urine, we gave it a ranking or weight because of everything else we did beforehand to justify that metric or a few additional metrics to help guide somebody. You’re translating a very complex system and analysis into a simpler set of measurements that somebody could use more practically in the real world, but it’s coming from a more informed perspective.” BWR

Chris Torres is IBWA’s communications coordinator. Contact him at ctorres@


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ditions (e.g., high blood pressure), and related catastrophic events (e.g., a heart attack). “Water is very likely to be one piece of the puzzle,” she says. (For more on how meeting or exceeding water recommendations could help lessen the negative impact of some diseases, read “Does Drinking Water Play a Critical Role in Healthy Aging?” on p.10.)

Trust the Process

Focusing on simple but constant acts of advocacy can lead to larger successes down the road By Cory Martin, IBWA Vice President of Government Relations

I love sports, especially football. Over the years, I’ve had numerous opportunities to coach my sons’ youth football teams. My oldest son is now a quarterback on his college team, and, during a recent visit home, he wore a shirt that said, “Trust the Process.” This seems to be a popular slogan among football teams, as my 13-year-old’s youth football league has also adopted it, and the league is working hard to instill within the players a belief that hard work pays off. Trusting the 24 • BWR • WWW.BOTTLEDWATER.ORG

process in football means getting to a point where the players believe their efforts in practice—like learning critical techniques and memorizing the plays— will lead to success on the field. For those of us who work or participate in IBWA’s advocacy efforts, there is also a process that must be followed in order to achieve success. But what does that process look like? Similarly to football, the advocacy process involves a lot of small and simple actions that can lead

to great reward down the road. Adhering to those actions will dramatically increase your ability to build relationships with policymakers, which in turn will help you educate them on the state and federal issues that impact your business.

Step 1: Get to Know Your Elected Officials The first critical step in the advocacy process is to get to know who represents

GOVERNMENT RELATIONS your business. While this may seem a rather simple task, according to political engagement data, if you take the time to identify your elected officials, you’ll already be ahead of about two-thirds of the rest of the country. I suspect that this gap only widens as you drill down to the state and local levels. The good news is that several sources make it easy to identify your federal and state elected officials, including the IBWA Advocacy App (VoterVoice), which you can download via your cell phone’s app store. When using the app, after inputting your address, you can view a list of individuals who represent you at the federal level, including the president, vice president, senators, and representatives, and those at the state level, including all state offices from governor to state House representative. Each name included in the list is linked to detailed biographic information, including personal and political information (e.g., where they went to college and what legislative committees they serve on), and ways to contact them through staff, websites, and social media. If you aren’t a fan of apps, you can also reach out to IBWA staff directly, and we will be happy to provide you with detailed information on your elected officials.

Step 2: Take the Initiative Now that you know who represents you, you’ll want to reach out and introduce yourself and your company. Elected officials crave to connect with their constituents, but they rarely instigate making those connections. That means you’ll have to initiate the introduction and let them know that you’d like to chat with them about your business and the bottled water industry. Here’s what you need to remember: When communicating with legislators, you are the expert on your business.

ELECTED OFFICIALS CRAVE TO CONNECT WITH THEIR CONSTITUENTS, BUT THEY RARELY INSTIGATE MAKING THOSE CONNECTIONS. You best know your industry, and your elected officials will be grateful to hear from you. After sending an email to introduce yourself, the next action you’ll want to take is to meet with your legislator or their staff. That meeting can take many forms; it could be virtual or in person, meeting in their district or at their Capitol Hill office, or you could attend an event with the official or invite them to tour your plant. Each of those actions is small in and of itself, but as you participate in more, they start to add up. IBWA staff is here to help facilitate any of these activities.

Step 3: Make Progress Politics and policymaking can be incredibly frustrating. It is often agonizingly slow moving, and it may not look as if progress is being made on an issue. But I strongly encourage you to trust the process! Why? Nothing will ever beat good, old-fashioned, and constant personal outreach and education. A steady effort of sharing details about your company and positive industry information is very hard for a legislator to ignore. To be successful in today’s legislative arena, you must build a strong foundation of advocacy—one that is built by engaging with members of Congress and state legislators. Establishing truthful relationships is needed more than ever before to achieve positive policy outcomes. An outreach strategy

where they hear from you often will help legislators understand your business, identify your company’s positive economic benefit on the community, and increase your chances of being seen as a potential ally in pushing for policies that can benefit the industry. Trusting and adhering to long-proven successful advocacy activities will lead to improving the policy environment for your company and industry. I invite you to engage in the advocacy process! Trust that it will make a difference, and please reach out to IBWA staff to help you get started on establishing a relationship with your elected officials. It’s easy to do and the steps are relatively simple to take—and it can lead to great successes down the road. BWR

PARTICIPATE IN THE IBWA PAC Take part in and contribute to the IBWA Political Action Committee (PAC), which helps the association educate members of Congress about the bottled water industry. Members can only receive information about the PAC if the association has an Authorization to Solicit form for your company. You are not obligated to contribute to the PAC if you do submit a form. The Authorization to Solicit form just gives IBWA permission to keep you informed about PAC events. To receive more information about the IBWA PAC, contact IBWA Vice President of Government Relations Cory Martin: SPRING 2022 • BWR • 25

How IBWA’s Swift Communications Efforts Benefit You By Jill Culora, IBWA Vice President of Communications

When it comes to the field of communications, smaller organizations such as IBWA have a distinct advantage over larger ones because, oftentimes, they can act very quickly to address the unexpected. And for the bottled water industry, extinguishing communications fires can be a regular occurrence. Some IBWA members will remember in the spring of 2015, bottled water made headlines when we were accused of “causing” the extreme drought in California. Of course, that was not true, and IBWA immediately swung into action setting the record straight. We provided facts to individual writers and publications, prepared press statements, created educational infographics and a YouTube video, and used social media as a vital tool in disseminating our collateral. Along the way, IBWA also hired a pub26 • BWR • WWW.BOTTLEDWATER.ORG

lic relations firm, which helped to widen the reach of our communications. That assault on the industry was real and relentless. So, when water scarcity concerns for the western parts of the United States were hinted at in late spring last year, IBWA started thinking about how we could get in front of the issue before the drought situation worsened and fingers were again mistakenly pointed at the industry.

Be Nimble, Be Quick The first question we asked was, What can we do immediately to share facts while also figuring out our communications strategy? There’s a fitting nursery rhyme: “Jack be nimble, Jack be quick.” We needed to be flexible with the timelines on other projects and adjust workloads to quickly create and

distribute accurate drought information. But we also needed time to develop a carefully thought-out plan before media outlets and others started to inaccurately suggest bottled water production was a contributor to the drought. IBWA concurrently developed a draft plan for what would become our “Hydrate The States” campaign, built a campaign website (, and embarked on a targeted social media educational effort that deployed existing water use and drought communications materials to people living in the droughtaffected states. Both Facebook and Instagram enable users to “select an audience” by state for both unpaid and paid posts, so we identified 10 at-risk states: Arizona, California, Idaho, Montana, Nevada, New Mexico, North Dakota, Oregon, Utah, and Washington. We be-

COMMUNICATIONS gan targeted posts in early August 2021, providing time for IBWA’s Executive Committee to review and approve the campaign plan and budget. In the months since, we’ve formed a working group to develop questions for a consumer poll, which was conducted by the consumer behavior research firm Engine Insights. IBWA used poll results to guide the development of the Hydrate The States communications strategy and messaging. Below are some interesting key takeaways from the poll: •

Concern about water scarcity varies dramatically depending on which state survey respondents live in. Although all survey respondents live in a drought-affected area of each state, Californians were the most concerned at 64 percent. Arizona, Nevada, and New Mexico were all above 50 percent concerned. Least concerned people live in Washington, North Dakota, Idaho, Oregon, Montana, and Utah. Similarly, people who said they have been personally affected by water shortages varies dramatically by state. People living in California, Nevada, New Mexico, and Utah say they are the most affected/restricted states. Overall, 71 percent of respondents had a positive opinion of bottled water. People living in Arizona, California, Nevada, and Utah had the most “very” positive opinions. However, people living in Montana, Idaho, Washington, and Oregon had the highest percent of people saying they had a “very” negative opinion of bottled water. According to the poll results, most people get information regarding the ongoing drought from local TV news (70 percent) and newspapers (55 percent). Only 27 percent of respondents said social media. A surprising number of respondents chose “something else” and typed in “billboards.”

Information sources varied by age group, with older respondents more likely to use local TV news and newspapers and younger people getting their information from social media and cable news.

Social Media Activities As mentioned above, IBWA began promoting paid social media posts in the Facebook and Instagram newsfeeds of people living in the 10 key states in early August, before the official launch of the Hydrate The States campaign. Those posts used existing communications graphics to educate consumers about the industry’s low water use, role in emergency response, and overall low environmental impact of bottled water’s drink packaging. IBWA continues to monitor and respond to public comments made under each post and gather information about what concerns people living in these drought-stricken areas.

To date, IBWA’s pre-launch posts have reached a cumulative total of 1,012,397 people in the 10 key states (297,657 on Facebook and 714,740 on Instagram) with a minimal social advertising budget. Below are some examples of our social media posts and reach.

Next Steps The Hydrate The States working group has finalized the campaign communications plan, and by the time you are reading this column, our efforts will be in full swing. Be sure to read your weekly Splash e-newsletter from IBWA for regular updates on how this campaign is progressing. IBWA members are encouraged to use the association’s social media posts on their company platforms to help spread the facts about bottled water and water scarcity issues. Also feel free to reach out to me directly if you have any questions or feedback:

FACEBOOK › Reach: 31,550 people › Engagement: 11% (likes, comments, shares, & clicks) › Engagement sentiment: 61% positive, 35% neutral, 4% negative

INSTAGRAM › Reach: 116,029 › Ad Taps: 1,132 (clicking link in post)

FACEBOOK › Reach: 21,288 people › Engagement: 8.5% (likes, comments, shares, & clicks) › Engagement sentiment: 71% positive

INSTAGRAM › Reach: 24,489 › Ad Taps: 523 (clicking link in post)

SPRING 2022 • BWR • 27

IBWA Offers Members Guidance on Available Sustainability Certifications By Al Lear, IBWA Director of Science and Research

Whether you are a bottler or supplier, your company is likely evaluating the best way to convey your sustainability message to retailers and consumers. Environmental certifications offer an opportunity to provide information on the sustainability of a given product through social media, marketing materials, product literature, and product labels. The IBWA Environmental Sustainability Committee reviewed available sustainability certifications to performance or consensus standards and opportunities for labeling of bottled water products to indicate conformance 28 • BWR • WWW.BOTTLEDWATER.ORG

with those standards to consumers. That review resulted in the development of the “IBWA Sustainability Certifications Guidance,” which was released to the membership in the first quarter of 2022. The guidance is a compilation of available third-party certifications that may be of interest to a bottler or supplier as part of their overall sustainability program in the following areas: • Emissions Certifications (e.g., Carbon Neutral Certification, Carbon Reduction Label, Energy Star: USA, EPA Smartway)

Recycled Content Certification (e.g., Association of Plastics Recyclers PCR Certification, SCS Recycled Content, UL Environmental Claim Validation) Social and Environmental Certifications (e.g., B Corporation, Green America’s Green Business Certification) Water Sustainability Certifications (e.g., Alliance for Water Stewardship, SGS ISO 14046-Water Footprint Verification, UL Water Footprint Certification Program) Zero Waste Certifications [e.g., SCS Zero Waste Certification,

TECHNICAL UPDATE Total Resource Use and Efficiency (TRUE) Zero Waste]

Types of Environmental Labeling Before considering a sustainability certification for your product, you should become familiar with the different types of environmental labeling and the Federal Trade Commission’s (FTC) Green Guides ( According to the International Standards Organization (ISO), there are three types of environmental labelling: • Type I environmental labelling: for eco-labelling schemes where there are clearly defined criteria for products • Type II self-declared environmental claims: for products and services where there are neither criteria nor labelling schemes • Type III environmental declarations: for specific aspects of products using a life-cycle approach The IBWA guidance provides sustainability certifications that fall under Type I and Type III environmental labeling. To learn more about ISO environmental labels, visit

HOW CAN A SUSTAINABILITY CERTIFICATION BE AN ASSET TO YOUR COMPANY? Joint Subcommittee, which was made up of members of the Government Relations and Environmental Sustainability Committees. In August 2013, the Joint Subcommittee released a guidance document that summarizes the portions of the Green Guides most relevant to the bottled water industry. It includes relevant examples from the FTC and provides additional examples of environmental claims that may be of interest to bottled water manufacturers. IBWA members can access a copy of the “IBWA Green Guides Guidance Document, 2013” from the Member Dashboard of the IBWA website: www. While in the members only section of the website, click on the Resources icon, and then look under the Sustainability Documents section for this guidance.

FTC Green Guides

Benefits of Sustainability Certifications

The FTC’s original Green Guides were published in 1992, and, while they are not laws, they do help marketers avoid making environmental claims that are unfair or deceptive under Section 5 of the Federal Trade Commission Act (bit. ly/FTCAct_Section5). As such, they can be expected to guide FTC enforcement activity as well as inform positions taken by state attorneys general and private litigants. The FTC last updated the Green Guides in 2010, releasing the final revisions in October 2012. IBWA offered comments to the FTC on the proposed revisions in December 2010, and, after the release of the final revisions, the association formed its Green Guides

How can a sustainability certification be an asset to your company? The process of obtaining a sustainability certification can engage employees and drive companywide commitment and purpose. For any bottler that is considering sustainability certifications, a good place to start is with your water resources, and you should look into obtaining a Water Sustainability Certification. IBWA has a “Water Stewardship Best Practices Guide”—available to members via the Member Dashboard on www.—that incorporates elements of the Alliance for Water Stewardship (AWS) 2.0 standard. Those elements align the “IBWA Water Stewardship Best Practices Guide” and

checklist with the Alliance for Water Stewardship’s global standard. IBWA’s guide and checklist not only assist members in developing their water stewardship programs but also provide a basis for IBWA members to obtain full certification to the AWS standard, if they so choose. IBWA encourages members to review other sustainability certificates, such as the following, that could benefit your company: Product Packaging: Recycled Content Certification. The benefits of obtaining a Recycling Content Certification include reduction in reliance on virgin material, demonstration of adherence to customer specifications, compliance with regulatory requirements, and third-party certification labeling of finished product. Manufacturing: Emissions and Zero Waste Sustainability Certifications. Working to earn such credentials can assist in improving your manufacturing processes, most notedly by measuring and managing the carbon footprint of your product; increasing waste diversion by reducing, recycling, and/or reusing of waste; and improving efficiency. Worker/Community/Environment/ Consumer Impact: Social and Environmental Certification. These certifications are broader in scope and cover a company’s impact on their workers, community, environment, and customers.

SPRING 2022 • BWR • 29



certified plant operators (CPOs) are encouraged to complete the following quiz for ½ IBWA continuing education unit (CEU). The questions are derived from material presented in this issue of the Bottled Water Reporter, the IBWA Plant Technical Reference Manual, and the IBWA Bottled Water Code of Practice. Submit this quiz to Al Lear ( / IBWA Director of Science and Research 1700 Diagonal Road, Suite 650, Alexandria, VA 22134. Look for additional quizzes in future issues and earn additional IBWA CEUs!






ZIP/Postal Code____________________________________________

Check your selection for each question


A concentration of 0.1 mg/l of ozone and a contact time of 5 minutes would result in a CT of _____.


5 0.5 0.1 0.05


Environmental labeling for products and services where there are neither criteria nor labelling schemes is categorized as _____.


Misinformation Type III environmental declarations Type II self-declared environmental claims Class II


Which routine test may help indicate the presence of an intentionally added agent intended to cause illness or death in consumers?


Total coliform/HPC Water Temperature Specific gravity


UV light treatment is _____ against chemical agents intentionally added to water.



Effective Ineffective

_____ is an example of a perfluoroalkyl chemical.




Reduction in reliance on virgin material, demonstrate adherence to customer specifications, compliance with regulatory requirements, and third-party certification labeling of finished product are associated with _____.


Which two (2) of the following treatments are considered at least somewhat effective against chemical agents? Granular activated carbon (GAC) 0.2 um filtration Mineral addition Reverse osmosis



Requirements for sanitization of reusable containers is addressed in _____: 21 CFR 165.110(a) 21 CFR 129 21 CFRR 165.110(b) 21 CFR 140



The Federal Trade Commission’s Green Guides are not themselves laws, but they do represent the FTC’s current thinking on what types of environmental marketing claims are deceptive under the FTCA. True False



Which of the following are recommended measures incorporated in a food defense plan regarding personnel?


Plastics Reduction Certification Recycled Content Certification Good Manufacturing Practices Certification Plant Operator Certification


Employee screening Employee identification Restricted areas in the plant All of the above

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Want to Advertise in IBWA Media? If you are interested in advertising in IBWA's Bottled Water Reporter magazine, Splash weekly e-newsletter, or the recently updated website—— contact Stephanie Reyna: or 817.719.6197.

CALENDAR 2022 2-5 • MARCH CSBWA Annual Convention

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27-29 • APRIL Joint SEBWA, MABWA, SABWA Convention and Trade Show Lanier Islands Legacy Lodge Buford, GA

12-15 • MAY NWBWA Convention

and Trade Show Embassy Suites Hotel PDX Airport Portland, OR

6-9 • JUNE IBWA Board of Directors

and Committee Meetings Hilton Alexandria Old Town Alexandria, VA

26-29 • OCTOBER NEBWA Mystic Hilton Mystic, CT

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BOTTLED WATER: BY THE NUMBERS While opinions vary, the National Academy of Medicine recommends people aged 19+ consume the following amounts of water from food and beverages:

MEN: 131 oz.


Installing 5-gallon jugs throughout senior facilities can make it easier for residents and staff to access water freely.

WOMEN: 95 oz.





122.74 98.74






Even mild dehydration—that is, 1-2%—can affect mood, energy level, and mental awareness.


LESS than 64 ounces of fluids a day, you consider yourself a low-water drinker.

MORE than 64 ounces of fluids a day, you consider yourself a high-water drinker. Sources: National Academy of Medicine,; National Center for Health Statistics,; Journal of Nutrition, and 32 • BWR • WWW.BOTTLEDWATER.ORG

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