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We invite everyone to join us tomorrow for the launch of the On Tap campaign, to celebrate the University of Toronto going bottled water free!

Where: Willcocks Pedestrian Street, Willocks @ St George (next to Sidney Smith)

What: Water games, information, scavenger hunts, and prizes throughout the day; outdoor movie screening of award-winning water documentary FLOW at night!

When: 10:00-3:00 for water games, 6:00 for outdoor movie screening.

Visit for more information.

See you there!!



It has been an exciting three years for PWI. We have had many great experiences speaking and reaching out to the U of T community about bottled vs tap water issues. We have learned a lot about people’s thoughts on the water debate (and we’re happy to say that U of T has told us overwhelmingly that they prefer the tap!) We have campaigned with many amazing student leaders. And we have engaged and pushed the U of T administration to end the sale and distribution of bottled water on campus.

And now, we’re very pleased to announce that the University of Toronto has made the decision to go bottled water free!!

For those of us at the St George campus, you’ll notice this change has already taken effect. For those at the Mississauga and Scarborough campuses, you’ll notice it happening over the next three years.

There is still work to be done — certain departments will take a bit longer before they’re able to be on board, and further improvements and additions to the public water infrastructure are still needed. But these changes are all on track as well, and PWI and other student leaders will continue to work to make sure this new policy is a success.

If you’d like to find out more, check out the “On Tap” campaign, which launches Thursday September 15th. And also check out the links below to see the great press coverage this news has been getting!!

Many thanks to everyone who has worked tirelessly on this campaign, especially the University of Toronto Students’ Union and the Graduate Students’ Union!–university-of-toronto-banning-bottled-water-sales-at-downtown-campus–utm-boots-water-bottles

Global TV Toronto attended Monday’s World Water Day event at the University of Toronto.

See what they had to say about bottled water!

Global TV – Water Bottle Wars


And also, a big thank you to everyone who attended Water: In Conversation with Maude Barlow.  It was a big success!

International World Water Day is held annually on 22 March as a means of focusing attention on the importance of freshwater and advocating for the sustainable management of freshwater resources. 

This March 21, celebrate World Water Day with us!


Date/time: Monday March 21, 6:00-9:00
Location: William Doo Auditorium, New College, 45 Willcocks St
$2 for students, $5 for community
It is strongly recommended that you RSVP to in order to guarantee a seat.
Join us as we discuss water issues at a local and international level. Panelists will also discuss the impact of the bottled water industry on water resources and access to water.

– What is the impact of the extraction, bottling, transportation, storage, and disposal of bottled water?
– What happens when water is privatized?
– Why isn’t more money invested in fixing problems in the public water infrastructure?
– Can we have a bottled-water-free UofT?

Panelists include:

Maude Barlow, National Chairperson of the Council of Canadians

Maude is the recipient of ten honorary doctorates as well as many awards, including the 2005 Right Livelihood Award (known as the “Alternative Nobel”). In 2008/2009, she served as Senior Advisor on Water to the 63rd President of the United Nations General Assembly. She is also the best selling author or co-author of 16 books, including the international best seller Blue Covenant: The Global Water Crisis and The Coming Battle for the Right to Water.

Full biography:

Dr. Romila Verma
Dr. Romila Verma is a Lead Researcher in Water Issues with the
Canadian Institute for Environmental Law and Policy. She also teaches
Water Resource Management at University of Toronto. Growing up with water scarcity in India, Dr. Verma is a passionate advocate for clean
water for all.

Dr. Verma will be speaking on:
The Water Crisis in Developing Countries: Putting the Puzzle Pieces Together.

Debby Danard
Bio coming soon!

Other panelists TBA

This event is organized by:
The Water Working Group (Public Water Initiative and UTSU), World Water Week Organizers, Oxfam UofT, New College Office of Residence and Student Life, University College Global Action Commission of the University College Literary and Athletic Society (UC Lit), Woodsworth Environmental Team (WET), Victoria College Students’ Administrative Council (VUSAC) & the VUSAC Environmental Sustainability Committee.

This petition is for all students, alumni, staff, faculty, or anyone in the U of T community who supports our campus going bottled water free.

Please sign, and distribute widely through listservs or other means available!

If you are looking for the GROUP PLEDGE, you can find it here:

Please note this pledge is different from the petition, and is not for individuals to sign, only U of T groups. (Campus groups, course unions, etc.)

Are you ever on campus, looking to refill your bottle, and you just can’t find a fountain anywhere?!

Worry no more – PWI has mapped out water fountains and public water across campus!

Click for the PWI U of T campus fountain map (Sept 2010)

Feel free to print, forward, and distribute to anyone who wants one.

Each red dot on the map corresponds to the building code for the building in which it is found – use the legend to find the specific location inside the building. Note that the map is not exhaustive, but is a selection of fountains around campus.

This Thursday, the wonderful Toronto Undergraduate Geography Society (TUGS) will be screening FLOW (which stands for For the Love of Water). Refreshments will be served.

If you have never seen FLOW, SEE IT!
If you have seen FLOW, SEE IT AGAIN!

FLOW really gets to the heart of what PWI is about – water is a human right,
and no one can own it!


Info about the movie:

See the Facebook event page,


Due to limited seating, please reserve a seat by e-mailing:


Last Friday, PWI joined other water activists from across Ontario to rally for stronger protection of our provincial water.  Currently, we have no provincial water strategy, and existing laws don’t protect communities enough. Too often, it feels like corporate interests trump the public interest. PWI stood in solidarity with the communities from across our province that are suffering the consequences.

Here’s a news story about the  event:–ontario-legislature-water-logged

Note the lovely lady in the third picture. Yep, we met Maude Barlow!

(Click on the pictures to enlarge)


The number of Canadian universities getting rid of bottled water continues to grow. Here’s where we stand right now:

oUniversity of Winnipeg, March 2009
o Memorial University, September 2009
o Brandon University, December 2009
o Ryerson University, March 2010
o Fleming College- Frost Campus, April 2010
o University of Ottawa, April 2010
o Dawson College, April 2010
o Trent University, September 2010

So why is U of T still not on this list?

PWI is going to be meeting this Thursday at 4pm. We will be in the 4th floor meeting room at Sussex Clubhouse, 21 Sussex Ave @ Huron.

We will be discussing:
-our mandate and our past work (briefly)
-our plan for the year
-upcoming initiatives
-ways to volunteer with us

Following this meeting, we will be meeting bi-weekly as the Water Working Group. This group is a coalition between UTSU, PWI, and anyone else interested in making U of T bottled water free. Everyone is welcome!

Bi-weekly meetings will be Thursdays @ 4 in the UTSU office. The next coalition meeting will be Thurs Oct 14.

See you there!