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Open Letter To SF BOS: Please Vote Down Bottled Water Ban
by John Thielking (pagesincolor [at]
Monday Feb 24th, 2014 8:50 PM
The SF Board Of Supervisors' Land Use And Economic Development Committee is set to vote Monday, March 3, 2014 at 1:30 PM on a proposal to recommend to the full SF Board Of Supervisors that SF pass the strictest law in the nation banning the sale of 21 oz and smaller water bottles on city property. Below is my reasoning as to why this is a bad idea. The 6PM 2-24-14 kpfa evening news ran a story on this. It is archived at
From: John Thielking
To: "John.Avalos [at]" ; "David.Campos [at]" ; "Malia.Cohen [at]" ; "Jane.Kim [at]" ; "Katy.Tang [at]" ; "Norman.Yee [at]" ; "London.Breed [at]" ; "David.Chiu [at]" ; "Mark.Farrell [at]" ; "Eric.L.Mar [at]" ; "Scott.Wiener [at]"
Sent: Monday, February 24, 2014 6:47 PM

Subject: Please Vote Down Bottled Water Ban

While I appreciate the efforts of SF city govt to rein in pollution and excessive production carbon footprints associated with bottled water by promoting a ban of bottled water under 21 oz on city property, I must object for the following reason:

Often people from out of town who are on the street at a festival conducted on city property such as the Gay Pride Festival may not be able to find a store not on city property that can sell bottled water. At the last gay Pride Parade event there was a small store located near the event that I could have gone to, but in the real world there is no guarantee that that one small store would not run out of bottled water. The vendors on the street are much better suited to supply large crowds with the amount of bottled water that is needed for the event. That particular day was quite hot and going without bottled water would have been quite dangerous. Other events, such as those conducted at Dolores Park, are not near stores that I am familiar with. Please reconsider your campaign to ban the sale of smaller bottles of bottled water on city property. Thank you.


John Thielking
San Jose, CA

Follow up comment:

Another reason to vote the ban down is that the ban does nothing to discourage the sale of soft drinks in plastic bottles. Consuming soft drinks instead of water on a hot day further complicates the problems caused by dehydration on hot days as it is not recommended to consume sugary drinks in place of plain water when dealing with dehydration.

John Thielking
At the agenda for the Feb 24, 2014 meeting mentions "set City policy to increase the availability of drinking water in public areas", so as long as the city actually comes through with funding to install additional drinking fountains in food deserts such as Dolores Park I may be able to live with the terms of the new ordinance.