SF Announces New Tap Water Partnerships in Next Phase of Anti-Bottled Water Education Campaign

(December 16, 2009)

New Partnerships Create A Network of Tap Water Refilling Locations Throughout San Francisco

San Francisco Department of the Environment (SFE) and San Francisco Public Utilities Commission (SFPUC) officials today announced new tap water partnerships as part of the City's efforts to promote "on the go" access to San Francisco's great tasting Hetch Hetchy tap water while reducing waste from use of plastic bottled water. In 2007, Mayor Gavin Newsom barred the use of City tax dollars for the purchase of bottled water. The demand for bottled water puts a strain on our environment and resources and bottled water can cost as much as 1,000 times more than tap water.

In Yerba Buena Gardens, SFE Director Jared Blumenfeld and others unveiled the pilot water refilling station from GlobalTap, an international provider of new and innovative clean drinking water refilling stations. Following the pilot installation, SFPUC and SFE officials hope to install additional stations throughout San Francisco in 2010.

"San Francisco has been a leader in educating people about the negative impacts of bottled water," said Blumenfeld. "Today we are honored to be the first U.S. city to host a GlobalTap filling station. Now San Franciscans can 'BYOB' ('Bring Your Own Bottle') every day."

Daniel Whitman, founder of GlobalTap, is proud that the City and County of San Francisco chose to partner with GlobalTap. "We want to be a key player in San Francisco's plan to implement a city-wide program in public areas for people to easily access clean and refreshing Hetch Hetchy tap water. Clean water is a human right and not a privilege."

"I support Mayor Newsom's efforts to make San Francisco a model for green initiatives such as the Global Tap Pilot Project," says Fred Blackwell of the San Francisco Redevelopment Agency, property owner of Yerba Buena Gardens.

The City also announced its partnership with TapIt, a New York-based organization that has assembled a network of cafes, restaurants and other businesses throughout San Francisco where people on-the-go can refill their water bottle. People can access the network of participating businesses through the use of TapIt's search and mapping features on their personal computers, Smartphones or by downloading the TapIt Water iPhone application from the Apple Store.

"San Francisco has the best tap water in the world," said Laura Spanjian, SFPUC Assistant General Manager for External Affairs. "Our partnerships with TapIt and GlobalTap will make it easier for everyone to enjoy our great-tasting Hetch Hetchy tap water and reduce waste from all those plastic bottles."

"We're very happy to have a partnership with the City and County of San Francisco. We believe TapIt can help San Francisco promote its high quality tap water while furthering its goals to reduce landfill waste," said Kylie Harper, TapIt Founder.

"Mixt Greens is glad to be a part of the Tapit's innovative water refilling network, along with other City businesses, in providing Hetch Hetchy's high quality tasting tap water to San Franciscans while they are on the go," said Tony Alcala of Mixt Greens, a participating TapIt business.

SFPUC and SFE officials will work with GlobalTap and TapIt in coming months to install new refilling stations and expand the network of participating TapIt businesses.

For more information about the GLOBALTAP pilot and how to set up GLOBALTAP in your community, contact GLOBALTAP at 1-312-850-1110, go to www.globaltap.org or email [at] info@globaltap.org

TapIt is a water bottle refill network started in New York City. Since it's founding, TapIt has expanded to include more than 250 refill locations in New York, 80 in San Francisco, with a total of over 400 partners in 10 states. For more information or to find out how to bring TapIt to your community, go to www.TapItWater.com or email info@TapItWater.com. For press inquires email pr@TapItWater.com".

For the latest updates, visit SFPUC on Twitter at www.twitter.com/SFWater and SFE on Twitter at www.twitter.com/SFenvironment.