How To Promote Tap Water, Tokyo Style

tokyo water poster image

Photo: Tokyo Waterworks

Tokyo has embarked on an ambitious campaign to tell its citizens that the tap water here is safe to drink. The Tokyo metropolitan government's waterworks bureau has set aside 1,870 million yen in advertising expenses to publicize water-related programs. For example, they have produced posters and videos for the trains and subway stations, with young actors enjoying a drink of clear, refreshing tap water, and special kids pages on their internet site.

The campaigns also include tours to waterworks related plants and information on the web. They are particularly concerned about water leaks from pipes and toilets:

Although a leak may start out with just some dripping it will worsen day by day.This means not only a waste of our valuable water resources, but also higher water bills for you. Please be sure to find and fix all leaks as quickly as possible.
tokyo water ad image

Photo: Tokyo Waterworks
Breitbart notes that the city water campaign is closely tied to Tokyo's bid to host the 2016 Olympics:

Under what the bureau calls the "safe and tasty water project," the waterworks bureau aired a 15-second commercial message on trains and large TV screens on streets in fiscal 2008 to promote the sale of highly purified "Tokyo-sui" (Tokyo water) in PET bottles. The logos of Tokyo's Olympic bid were inserted in the very last second of the commercial.

In fiscal 2009 that started April 1, the waterworks bureau will spend 200 million yen to expand the use of the commercial message and also to make a separate message aimed at publicizing the whole of the capital's water service business, which will use the Olympic bid logos.

The Tokyo metropolitan government's waterworks bureau notes that customer requests for waterworks have changed. People are interested not only in quantity but also in being provided high quality tap water, and they want to know that "the environment will receive consideration."

tokyo water study tour image

Photos: Tokyo Waterworks Event Page

Where does your tap water come from? In Tokyo, it is likely to come from Saitama prefecture to the north, where a number of dams (pdf) provide fresh water all year round. Tokyo experts are also involved in conferences and debates about water quality, for example as part of the C40 network of major cities.

So, what do you think? Is your city tap water all right or not? Or do you prefer bottled water?

More tap water:
TAP'dNY Bottles & Sells New York City Tap Water, In New York
City of Seattle Gives Bottled Water the Boot
Heads I Win, Tails You Lose: The Chicago Water Story
Which is Healthier: Tap Water or Bottled Water?

Written by Martin Frid at

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