Often, many of us think nothing about drinking bottled water.
But here’s why you should avoid it, whenever you can:
- Expensive: Litre for litre, it is thousands of times more expensive than tap water.
- Hardly hi-tech: Processes such as reverse osmosis aren’t exactly state of the art. Bottled water isn’t much safer than what you could obtain by running tap water through a simple water filter.
- Processed tap water: In fact, in many cases, bottled water is actually obtained from public water sources a.k.a. tap water (See report below).
- Diverted from communities: In some cases, water is diverted from local communities and sent for bottling. This reduces the level of groundwater in those areas and it becomes critical especially in places where water is scarce.
- Environmental headache: The disposal of water bottles, which are not meant for long-term use, is a major environmental headache.
- Same taste: In the United States, taste tests have revealed that people are unable to distinguish between the taste of bottled water and that of tap water. Getting people to drink pricey bottled water instead of tap water is in fact one of the major triumphs of marketing.
Okay, so our tap water may sometimes look a tad murky, but that isn’t any reason to cop out and resort to bottled water. We should be pushing our water authorities, which are currently in various stages of “corporatisation”, to do a better job.
And maybe we should even be willing to pay higher tariffs for consumption in excess of a cheap minimum quota for each person – provided the public authorities re-invests profits in reducing leakages and in providing clean and clear water. A sliding scale of tariffs would also discourage excessive use and promote conservation. If the public authorities do their bit, then we can save on expensive home filter systems and bottled water.
Now read this report by Amy Goodman, and I bet you will never want to drink bottled water again. It is from the excellent Democracy Now! website:
The soft drink giant Pepsi has been forced to make an embarrassing admission – its best-selling Aquafina bottled water is nothing more than tap water. Last week Pepsi agreed to change the labels of Aquafina to indicate that the water comes from a public water source. Pepsi agreed to change its label under pressure from the advocacy group Corporate Accountability International which has been leading an increasingly successful campaign against bottled water. Full article: The bottled water lie