In mid-December, Congress passed a provision within a $1.8 trillion budget bill requiring the National Park Service to file a report justifying a ban on selling bottled water at a number of parks around the country. Meanwhile, the bottled water industry promoted a rider in the appropriations bill prohibiting use of federal funds to support banning bottled water in national parks. So far, over 20 parks have gone bottled-water-free, including the Grand Canyon, Canyonlands, Zion and Bryce Canyon, and Fort Sumter National Monument. This is another development in the ongoing fight between the National Park Service and Big Water over banning bottled water.
Earlier this December, more than 30 members of Congress signed a letter to National Park Service director Jonathan Jarvis opposing Big Water’s effort to sabotage the bottled water ban. “As Members of Congress concerned with the preservation of our National Parks,” the letter read, “we support the National Park Service in increasing the availability of public water and adopting bottled water free policies on National Park premises.”