spent more money last year on bottled water than on ipods or movie
tickets: $15 Billion. A journey into the economics–and psychology–of
an unlikely business boom. And what it says about our culture of
Bottled water has become the indispensable prop in our lives and our culture.
We pitch into landfills 38 billion water bottles a year — in excess of $1 billion worth of plastic.
1 billion people have no reliable source of drinking water; 3,000
children a day die from diseases caught from tainted water.
water is the food phenomenon of our times. We–a generation raised on
tap water and water fountains–drink a billion bottles of water a week,
and we’re raising a generation that views tap water with disdain and
water fountains with suspicion. We’ve come to pay good money–two or
three or four times the cost of gasoline–for a product we have always
gotten, and can still get, for free, from taps in our homes.
can buy a half- liter Evian for $1.35–17 ounces of water imported from
France for pocket change. That water seems cheap, but only because we
aren’t paying attention. In San Francisco, the municipal water comes
from inside Yosemite National Park. It’s so good the EPA doesn’t
require San Francisco to filter it. If you bought and drank a bottle of
Evian, you could refill that bottle once a day for 10 years, 5 months,
and 21 days with San Francisco tap water before that water would cost