Sunday, February 12, 2006

'Eau, No'

From the Independent (uk):

Eau, no: Clean, healthy and pure? Hardly. Bottled water is killing the planet
And our thirst grows, with 154 billion litres drunk in one year.

It costs 10,000 times more to create the bottled version than it does to produce tap water, say scientists. Huge resources are needed to draw it from the ground, add largely irrelevant minerals, and package and distribute it - sometimes half-way around the world.

The plastic bottles it comes in take 1,000 years to biodegrade, and in industrialised countries, bottled water is no more pure and healthy than what comes out of the tap.

The new study comes from the Earth Policy Institute (EPI), a Washington-based environmental group which has previously alerted the world to melting ice caps, expanding deserts and the environmental threats of a rapidly industrialising China. It points out that the world consumed a staggering 154 billion litres of bottled water in 2004 - an increase of 57 per cent in just half a decade.

I need to reform my water habits. I live in a town where the water didn't meet EPA standards for a number of contaminants. Every six months I got a notice in the mail telling me that our water contained these contaminants, and that no home filtration system would remove them. Therefore, under EPA standards, the water shouldn't be used for drinking. So I got into the habit of drinking bottled water.

The town's water filtration plant went online this summer, so it's time for me to get back to my filtered-from-the-tap water.

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