Campus Water Statement

This message went out in an email to the Emerson College community on March 14, 2012 as part of Pelton's new water initiative on campus.

Dear Emerson community,

As part of our ongoing commitment to sustainability, Emerson College will phase out the sale of bottled water on campus and will strongly discourage bottled water purchases made with institutional funds. This action does not, of course, preclude individuals’ rights to purchase such water independently and use it on campus.

Ironically, clean drinking water is widely and readily available in every city in the United States. Some sources say that up to 40 percent of bottled water sold is simply tap water, offering no additional health benefits. Among the many reasons for discontinuing bottled water are the environmental costs to produce and transport bottled water, the plundering of underground aquifers, and the potential health risks from chemicals contained in plastic.

Emerson College joins a growing list of colleges making this transition. Emerson will be:

  • Installing new “hydration stations” that are reusable-bottle-friendly
  • Retrofitting some existing water fountains to be more reusable-bottle-friendly
  • Phasing out 5-gallon water jugs and continuing to install plumbed filtration systems
  • Ensuring that events catered by Sodexo offer pitchers of water rather than individual serving bottles

Clean drinking water is a fundamental human right and should be available to everyone freely and readily. I hope you will join me in recognition of World Water Day (March 22) in ensuring our own and future generations’ fundamental right to clean, readily available drinking water.

For further information about sustainability at Emerson College, email or visit


Lee Pelton