Early in 2009, Paul Baker, the owner of The Water Store in Orillia, was asked to become involved in resolving an environmental challenge created by the newly formed Greening Committee of the Mariposa Folk Festival. That challenge was to ‘eliminate the use of plastic water bottles’ typically used at the Festival. The Mariposa Folk Festival has been in existence for 49 years and is seen as a major Folk Festival event within the folk music world. The Greening Committee, with a mandate of eliminating the need and use of plastic water bottles, were faced with the challenge of finding an alternative method to hydrate their estimated 20,000+ audience, their 600 volunteers and the hundreds of entertainers.
During the 2008 Mariposa Folk Festival it is estimated that approx. 15,000 plastic water bottles were used during the 3 days of the event. Following the event, all (100%) of those plastic water bottles went to the Orillia landfill facility, as garbage. Zero recycled. 15,000 plastic water bottles buried in with the garbage. Enter Paul Baker – the Orillia Water Store. Paul accepted the challenge and developed the water station. This was intended as a pilot project only, for the 2009 Mariposa Folk Festival. However, the water station virtually eliminated the need and use of plastic water bottles at the event and was marveled at by the audience members, the media and the general public. It was a resounding success.
Through a volume meter attached to the station waterline (to read the # of litres of water consumed) the final count at the end of the three day event determined that 12,000 plastic water bottles were eliminated - an unbelievable success rate. The water station (prototype) was then requested by the Ottawa Folk Festival to assist them, and once again it became an instant success story, eliminating the use of 10,000 plastic water bottles in Ottawa.
After the success of these pilot events Event Water Solutions Inc. was created and has grown. We now warehouse water stations accross North America and have hydrated crowds in excess of 350,ooo. We have installed water stations at events from coast to coast in both Canada and the United States.
The shift away from the environmental detriment of plastic water bottles and towards the much sounder, safer alternative of municipal water usage is becoming imperative for our environment and the economic health of these public events. No longer can this issue be ignored and this is the only proven effective way to assist these events to provide clear, clean, safe drinking water at their events. Event Water Solutions has the innovation and proven results required to end plastic water bottle usage at festivals and events.