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Drinking Water in Schools

A webinar about promoting access to free drinking water

Child Care & Schools
Food & Beverages

Promoting tap water as an alternative to sugary beverages in schools is an important obesity prevention strategy. But many schools are struggling to make free drinking water more accessible. Federal law requires schools participating in the National School Lunch Program to provide access to free drinking water during lunch time where meals are served to students. California has a similar but more expansive provision. 

In this webinar, we discussed the implications of a recent Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Healthy Eating Research study that examined drinking water access, water-related policies and practices, and barriers to improving water access in California public schools. We also reviewed strategies for schools implementing the "water in schools" requirements, and will share real-world examples of innovative and cost-effective practices collected from schools. 

Learning Objectives 
  • Explain the federal and California "water in schools" requirements and their rationale
  • Describe alternatives to the standard drinking water fountain and potential funding sources
  • Identify the Environmental Protection Agency’s 3Ts (training, testing, telling) for addressing concerns about the safety of tap water
  • Recognize best practices for implementing the “water in schools” requirements

This webinar was sponsored by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation’s Healthy Eating Research Program with support from the Philip R. Lee Institute of Health Policy Studies at the University of California at San Francisco, California Food Policy Advocates, and ChangeLab Solutions.