By fall 2009, the University of Winnipeg expects to be bottled-water-free. In the highest voter turnout in years, three quarters of students voted to eliminate the sale of bottled water on campus.
Instead, the university plans to fund upgrades to water infrastructure on campus, including the installation of water fountains in prominent areas in three new facilities.
The University of Winnipeg Students’ Association also voted to stop buying and providing bottled water at student-led events and meetings.
“It is our hope that other institutions across Canada will take similar action, and enshrine public drinking water as a right by refusing to accept water as a commodity,” said David Jacks, Manitoba Chairperson for the Canadian Federation of Students — one of the groups leading a Canada-wide campaign to ban bottled water.
So far, 31 universities and colleges have established over 50 bottled-water-free zones. The University of Winnipeg is the first university in Canada to implement a campus-wide ban.
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