A watery revolt in Boston Harbor

By Beth Daley, Boston Globe (March 25)

They came in colonial garb to Boston Harbor today not to dump tea – but to dump what they say is overpriced unnecessary water.

Noting that tap water in Boston and most Eastern Massachusetts’ communities that comes from the Quabbin Reservoir passes a slew of rigorous standards for safety and purity – and costs less than a half cent per gallon – ten members of the Think Outside the Bottle campaign performed the tongue-in-cheek demonstration at Christopher Columbus Park in the North End. The vast majority of Massachusetts’ municipal water systems are also safe to drink from and are regularly tested.

“Municipal water systems are a critical piece of our public health infrastructure,” said Rob Kerth, Massachusetts field organizer with the water campaign, part of Corporate Accountability International. “When bottled water companies spend hundreds of millions of dollars on advertising to convince us that we can’t trust our tap water, they’re undermining the political will to maintain this crucial public resource.”

UPDATE: Readers wrote in to note that the Boston tea party was based on underpriced tea – not overpriced – but overall, to protest taxation by Britain.

The event is part of a weeklong series of actions to highlight United Nations World Water Day that took place on March 22. That day, Think Outside the Bottle held a series of bottled water/tap water taste tests. This Friday, they will show the documentary FLOW (For Love of Water) at 7 p.m. at the First Baptist Church in Jamaica Plain.

The group also is calling on Governor Deval Patrick to stop state spending on bottled water. Kerth’s group convinced Boston, Cambridge and Somerville to work toward eliminating bottled water in recent years. Patrick’s office didn’t immediately return a phone call.

The group is also trying to get individuals to pledge to choose tap water over bottled water whenever possible.

How much bottled water do you drink?