$841,300 in revenue could dry up with bottled water ban in Vancouver

Post by Daniel Fontaine in


Vancouver's bottled water ban sets stage for more drinking fountains

Vancouver City Council will be debating a staff report coming to the budget committee next week that is seeking approval to spend up to $50,000 to implement a new bottled water ban in the city.  This is in addition to a potential $841,300 dollars in lost revenue if the policy becomes fully operational. Staff are asking the Police Board, Park Board, Library Board and PNE Board to also fully implement the ban.

Despite the hefty price tag, the staff report states:

City use of bottled water represents a small fraction of the current market; eliminating its availability is unlikely to have significant direct effects on solid waste and greenhouse gas production.

Vision Councillor Tim Stevenson has been one of the strongest advocates for the banning of bottled water in the city. Stevenson is the Chair of the Metro Vancouver water committee which recently saw massive cost overruns on their Seymour-Capilano water filtration infrastructure project.

Some city-owned facilities could be impacted more than others. Take for example the City's civic theatres. Staff indicate that:

Phasing out the sale of bottled water will likely result in a decrease in revenue and have a negative impact on Civic Theatres budgets.

As for the Carnegie Centre:

The elimination of bottled water sales at Carnegie Centre represents a loss of revenue of approximately $4300 each year, which may require an offsetting budget increase in 2010 and forward.

The ban will be impacting City Councillors as well. City staff note that within one year they will have to spend up to $15,000 and:

Stop contracted provision of 18L bottled water coolers at civic facilities (CityLearn 
Centre, Councillor's office) and provide appropriate access to tap water

The ban could also have a big impact on the Park Board's budget which only a week ago was cut severely by Council:

Currently the net annual revenue generated by the sale of bottled water is approximately $149,800. Eliminating the sale of bottled water would dramatically reduce this revenue stream although some patrons would purchase a less healthy beverage. Additionally there could be an annual reduction in sponsorship monies from Coca Cola as the amount of their total sales is expected to drop as the result of eliminating bottled water. This reduction is estimated at $100,400. The impact on the Park Board annual operating budget could therefore be a loss of revenue totalling up to $250,000.

 Here is a summary of the potential lost revenue:

  • PNE $475,000
  • Park Board Facilities $250,000
  • Civic Theatres $109,000
  • Carnegie Centre $4,300
  • Gathering Place $3,000

Staff indicate that the total lost revenue may not be as high as projected if people choose to switch over to other beverage options such as sugar-based carbonated drinks.


This doesn't account at all for substitutions? that seems a little nuts.

Pretty sure that when I'm thirsty, it's not going to take much for me to drink something like juice instead.

*841,300 in revenue dries up

*Local jobs provided to install and maintain water fountains
*Money is not sucked out of Vancouver by Coca Cola, and other bottling companies.
*Fountain users will be able to make a free healthy choice vs. buy water or a sugared beverage.
*Reduced waste bottles generation
*Promote a free, precious resource that most other cites do not have access to.

Absolutely stupid! At a time when funds are tough to come by, this is not the time to flush easy money down the drain. Few people may buy juice or soda products - what the heck are those bottles made of??? Plastic! Is it just plastic water bottles that are politically incorrect?

Water fountains are expensive to install and maintain. They will not generate any income. They are a money hole.

Check out BCWineLover.com!

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