pwi updated logo july

Welcome to the Public Water Initiative at the University of Toronto (also known as PWI at U of T) page. PWI at U of T was started in 2008 by a group of socially and environmentally concerned undergraduates about the growing trend towards global water privatization, ecologically destructive uses of current supplies and neglect for public water sources and the failure of the Canadian government to recognize water as a human right, not for profit.

The first group of researchers/coordinators included: Leanne Rasmussen, Anda Petro, Laura Phelps, Lucy Barker, Jay Un Han, Zane Hussein, and (Karen) Jia-Yun Cao.

PWI at U of T is a multi-partisan student group working with partners and community organizations like the Polaris Institute and Governing Council Members at the University of Toronto to advocate for sustainable, clean and publicly accessible water sources on campus.

We are currently working to push for pass a resolution at the Governing Council calling for an end to the distribution and sale of bottled/commercialized water for campus operations, facilities, events and venues AND improve access to safe, clean, sustainable and publicly accessible tap water. This will be done working through a coalition of faculty, staff and student groups, a petition and referendum process and an educational/outreach campaign. The ban is *NOT* on your right to buy bottled water from off-campus sources, or to consume it on campus if you have it.

Why the focus on bottled water?

Bottled water is not a trivial issue when 1 in 5 Canadians drink it exclusively for their water consumption and believe it to be safer and cleaner than tap water; concerns with bottled water’s health, environmental, social and economic implications should make its use only as a last resort in situations of emergencies.

If you would like to get involved, find out more information about bottled vs. tap water, or offer your group’s support, PLEASE EMAIL:
. Leanne Rasmussen: leanne.rasmussen(at)
. Karen Jia-Yun Cao: karenj.cao(at)
. Anda Petro: anda.petro(at)
. Group email:
. Facebook group:

Water is a human right first, not for profit.