Archives by Year


Just Add Water!

September 3, 2013

Francesca Vietor, with the San Francisco Foundation, recently blogged on the Huffington Post about the importance of water on students’ health and academic performance. And makes a very important point: “Further implementation will reveal what works best in individual communities, but options already exist for every budget and school. When it comes to improving children’s health, water is one easy solution we can tap into now.” Read Vietor’s blog post, To Grow Healthier Kids, Just Add Water

Tapping into Water at the Childhood Obesity Conference

June 10, 2013
Join us at this year’s Childhood Obesity Conference in Long Beach, CA to hear about cutting edge research on drinking water access in schools and to learn how to make water more readily accessible on your school campus. Tapping into Water in School and After-School Settings: A Strategy for Obesity Prevention and Training will take place on June 18, 2013 at 4 PM in room 203. This lively session will feature a section on the current state of water availability in school and afterschool settings, as well as highlight some of the schools where water has become the healthy, easy choice for students. Plus, you’ll take away practical tools to help you implement both the state and federal water access provisions. For more information on our session, visit the School, After School and Summer Programs and Policies track.

Take Action! Improve Water Access in USDA’s Smart Snacks in Schools Proposed Rule

March 31, 2013
Voice your support for robust implementation of the water provision in USDA’s Smart Snacks in Schools proposed rule. USDA recently proposed science-based nutrition standards for snack foods and beverages sold in vending machines, school stores and cafeteria a la carte lines. Included in the rule is also a provision to increase students’ access to free, palatable drinking water during meal times. Now is your chance to weigh in on the proposed standards. Submit your comments by April 9, 2013.


Video Produced by Youth Featured on YouTube

December 6, 2012
This youth-inspired and youth-produced video reveals how some teenagers choose between water or soda, and how that choice may or may not change after being educated on the facts of their decision. “You might be surprised to hear their responses.”

Register Today! Drinking Water in Schools: A Free Webinar on Translating Good Policy into Great Practice

October 18, 2012, 10.00 AM – 11.15 AM PDT
Promoting tap water as an alternative to sugary beverages in schools is an important obesity prevention strategy. Yet 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; California has a similar but more expansive provision. In this webinar, panelists will discuss 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. The panel will also review strategies for successful implementation of “water in schools” and will share real-world examples of innovative and cost-effective practices collected from schools.
Learn More »


Students Grossed out by School Water Fountains

December 6, 2011
This 2011 broadcast from National Public Radio discusses some of the challenges of schools’ water infrastructure, and how it complicates the implementation of SB 1413.

Adams School Gets Water Station to Eliminate Plastic Bottles

November 3, 2011

This news article describes how one elementary school in the Santa Barbara Unified School District has benefited from a partnership with the non-profit sector to improve the hydration of their students.

Parents Urged to Curtail Sports Drinks for Kids

May 31, 2011
“For most children engaging in routine physical activity, plain water is best.” A recent research article debunks the myth that kids need sports drinks and encourages water as the best choice for hydration.

Food Research and Action Center (FRAC) Webinar on Water in Schools

May 24, 2011
California Food Policy Advocates, USDA, and The California Endowment participated in this webinar hosted by FRAC. The link above contains the archived webcast of the webinar, as well as slides and handouts.

Portland Tribune: School grants offer healthy lessons

May 20, 2011
Students in Portland identify increasing drinking water access as a key strategy to make school healthier. VIDEO: Dr. Sanjay Gupta on Water in Schools

April 25, 2011
Dr. Sanjay Gupta has a short video segment on the water in schools requirement. The Chart: Water in Schools – What Readers Say

April 22, 2011
Readers respond to’s article on water in schools.

CA Dept. of Education: Free, Fresh Drinking Water in Schools

April 21, 2011
This recent guidance from the CA Department of Education explains the requirements and expectations for implementing the state requirement to make free, fresh drinking water available with school meals. For School Children, Where’s the Water?

April 18, 2011

USDA: Child Nutrition Reauthorization 2010: Water Availability during National School Lunch Program Meal Service

April 12, 2011
This USDA memo explains the federal requirement to make drinking water available with school meals.  A formal rule-making process will follow.

CFPA Presents on Water in Schools at the California School Nutrition Association Conference

January, 16, 2011


President Obama signs the Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act!

December 13, 2010
the bill improves child nutrition policy in many important ways, including a provision that requires schools to make free drinking water available to students during meals.

Governor signs legislation to require water in schools!

September 30, 2010
Governor Schwarzenegger signed SB 1413 (Leno) to require schools to make free, fresh drinking water available with school meals.

U.S. Kids Drink Too Little Water: Study

September 25th, 2010
Children in the United States are not drinking as much water as they should, and the deficiency can have far-reaching implications, a new study suggests.

Bill mandates fresh water for California students

September 20, 2010
Despite an effort to get kids eating healthier at school, many school districts don’t provide free, fresh drinking water at lunchtime. A new law would change that. But some worry about the added costs to school districts.

Bill would require free drinking water to be added to California school menus

September 20th, 2010
California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger is expected to sign a bill requiring California schools to add free drinking water to their lunch menus.

California legislator wants free water on school menus

September 20th, 2010
There’s apparently a drought on California campuses. Many school districts don’t offer water with meals despite a statewide focus on healthy eating in recent years, said San Francisco State Sen. Mark Leno. To change that, Leno has proposed Senate Bill 1413, which has passed the Assembly and Senate and is awaiting the governor’s signature, and calls for fresh water to be available in school eating areas by next July.

Bill seeks to add free water to school menus

September 19, 2010
Despite a renewed focus on healthy eating, many districts, including L.A. Unified, don’t always offer free water with meals.

Florida school districts should limit vending machine drinks to non-sugary alternatives

September 16, 2010
With kids increasingly losing the battle of the bulge, thanks at least in part to sugary drinks from school vending machines, Florida’s Board of Education weighed a sensible antidote. Expel sweetened drinks from schools, allowing only water, white low-fat milk and pure fruit juices.