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University of Winnipeg bans bottled water on campus


March 23, 2009
By CNW Group : Greenwire

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NEWS HIGHLIGHT

University of Winnipeg bans
bottled water on campus

The University of Winnipeg has
announced that it will become the first university in Canada to end the
provision and sale of bottled water campus-wide.

The University of Winnipeg has announced that it will become the first university in Canada to end the provision and sale of bottled water campus-wide.

The sale of bottled water will be phased out by the Fall 2009 semester and funding will be put towards upgrading water infrastructure on campus.

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Water fountains will also be installed and located in prominent areas in three new facilities.

The University of Winnipeg Students' Association (UWSA) also recently voted to end the purchase and provision of bottled water at student-led events and meetings, and in a recent student initiated referendum, three-quarters of students voted to eliminate the sale of bottled water on campus with the highest voter turnout in years.

"Students at the University of Winnipeg have great pride for our campus" says Vinay Iyer, President of the UWSA, "the fact that we have joined with our administration and taken ownership over our environmental impact on campus sends a strong message across the country- it was a community effort".

Today's announcement takes place on the heels of an ongoing national student campaign of over a year, organized by the Polaris Institute, the Canadian Federation of Students and the Sierra Youth Coalition.

"Our campuses need to lead the way on sustainability initiatives" said David Jacks, Manitoba Chairperson for the Canadian Federation of Students, "it is our hope that other institutions across Canada will take similar action, and enshrine public drinking water as a Right by refusing to accept water as a commodity."The University of Winnipeg ban was the result of months of collaborative efforts by the UWSA, the Canadian Federation of Students – Manitoba and the Polaris Institute.

"As part of a growing movement, the University of Winnipeg's initiative demonstrates the important role of campuses in taking action on bottled water and in supporting public water services." says Zoe Maggio, Water Campaigner with the Polaris Institute.

Canadian Bottled Water Statistics:

-31 Universities and Colleges have established over 50 bottled water free zones.
-30 municipalities from 7 provinces have taken action on bottled water.
-The Federation of Canadian Municipalities (FCM) recently urged their members to "phase out the purchase and sale of bottled water" in municipal facilities.

For further information:
Vinay Iyer, President, University of Winnipeg
Students' Association, (204) 786-9778, cell: (204) 803-4241, pres@theuwsa.ca;
David Jacks, Chairperson, Canadian Federation of Students – Manitoba, (204) 783-0787, chair@cfsmb.ca; Zoe Maggio, Water Campaigner, Polaris Institute,
(613) 237-1717 ext. 104, zoe@polarisinstitute.org/


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