boy drinking water


Learn more about recent steps to promote water consumption in schools.

In December 2010, President Obama signed the Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act into law.  This act improves child nutrition policy in many important ways, including a provision to require free drinking water to be available with school meals.  In September 2010, Governor Schwarzenegger signed SB 1413 (Leno) creating a similar requirement for all schools in California to make free, fresh drinking water available to students during school meals.  These new requirements recognize that some progress has been made in getting rid of sugary drinks in schools.  But, not as much has been done on promoting the healthy choices, namely water.  Water is an essential nutrient and is calorie-free. Best of all, tap water is free!  Unfortunately, a recent survey in California found that over 40 percent of responding schools reported to have no access to free water in cafeterias.

The state and federal governments recently released guidance on implementing these requirements; schools should be in compliance by the 2011-2 academic year.  This web-based toolkit provides you with the information you need to promote water consumption in schools.

A report by California Food Policy Advocates highlights challenges with providing free, clean, and appealing tap water in schools as well as strategies to promote consumption.  Click here for a copy of the report.  Use the links above to learn about the importance of water, what’s currently required, and how to make things happen in your school.

Please check this site often.  We'll be updating the site with photos, best practices, and updates as we learn more about what's going on in communities all over California and the rest of the country.

Let us know what’s going on in your community’s school on water access/consumption.  Contact Ariana Oliva at, 213.482.8200 x203.