The House Subcommittee on Domestic Policy convened yesterday (12 December) to examine the environmental impact of water bottling and extraction on communities across the US.

The hearing was called in response to the concerns of local citizen groups which are challenging the lobbying and public relations efforts of major bottled water companies which bottle water in or near their communities, or plan to do so.

Academic witnesses from Michigan and Wayne State universities were called to speak about the environmental hazards of water bottling, while representatives from Nestlé Waters North America and the International Bottled Water Association (IBWA) were also to make representations.

The subcommittee is examining how water bottling plants impact on communities, the effect of extraction on watersheds and wetlands, and the adequacy of national and state laws in addressing these issues.

The hearing marks the first time in recent years that community concerns about water bottling have been discussed on Capitol Hill.