Bottled Water


Do you drink bottled water?  I never quite understood the point of purchasing water when perfectly clean water comes through my tap, although I will admit I’ve bought the occasional bottle.  Turns out, I’m probably on to something with that line of thinking.

Some bottled water statistics:

  • Americans spent $15 million on bottled water this year.  That’s more than we spent on movie tickets and iPods.
  • Americans drink a billion bottles of water a week.
  • Bottled water costs two to three times more than gasoline.  In fact, it costs about $10 a gallon.
  • Pepsi’s Aquafina and Coke’s Dasani are only filtered tap water, but they represent 13% and 11% respectively of the bottled water market in America.
  • You can buy a bottle of Evian water, drink it, and refill it with San Francisco’s tap water for 10 years, 5 months, and 21 days before the refill water would cost as much as the original bottle of Evian.
  • If our tap water cost as much as bottled water, our water bills would be about $9000 a month.
  • We throw away 38 billion water bottles a year — more than $1 billion worth of plastic.
  • Fiji Water bottles about 1 million bottles of water each day, but about half the residents of Fiji don’t have access to reliable drinking water.
  • Bottled water is subject to less rigorous testing than city water systems.  The National Resources Defense Council tested 103 brands of bottled water and found that 22% of the brands contained at least one sample that exceeded strict state guidelines for allowable limits of chemicals, bacteria, and arsenic.
  • Bottled water regulations allow for some E. coli contamination; however, tap water regulations prohibit any confirmed contamination with E. coli.
  • Bottled water can be up to 10,000 times more expensive than tap water.
  • 2.7 million tons of plastic are used to bottle water each year.
  • 1.5 billion barrels of oil, enough to fuel 100,000 U.S. cars for a year, are used in order to meet Americans’ demand for water each year.

Water statistics:

  • 1.1 billion people, or one out of six people in the world has no dependable supply of clean water.
  • San Francisco’s water is supplied from Yosemite National Park.  It is so clean and pure than the EPA doesn’t require it to be filtered.
  • 1.8 million children die each year because they don’t have access to a reliable, clean supply of drinking water.
  • Water-related diseases are the second largest killer of children worldwide, after respiratory infections.
  • At any given time, about half the world’s hospital beds are occupied by patients suffering from water-related illnesses.
  • Households in rural Africa spend about 26% of their time fetching water.
  • India and Pakistan spend 8 and 47 times more respectively on their military budgets than they do on water and sanitation.  Diarrhea claims 450,000 Indians per year and 118,000 Pakistanis.
  • The average North American uses 40 times as much water as the average person in a developing country every day.

Just some food… or perhaps water?… for thought.

Read more (sources for statistics):

[tags]bottled water, water, statistics[/tags]


9 thoughts on “Bottled Water

  1. I, who have never bought a bottle of water, have friends who come and always ask for bottled water. I managed to find three empty bottles and fill them with tap water and keep them in the fridge.

    They have been drinking tap water for the past five years and still have not twigged.

    I just love it when they discuss the pro's and con's.

  2. Ummm, yeah I'll keep drinking my bottled water (I hate dasani and aquafina actually). The water in my town is NASTY. *shudder* I'm an Evian drinker. I just like the tase better. I'm guilty! Hey, at least I'm drinking water instead of downing diet Coke all the time!

  3. Water is lame. Diet Coke rawks so hard!!

    This is interesting though. I generally am fine with tap water but most people I know are not. The only place I didn't like the tap was in west TX. San Angelo *shudder*. That's some nastay water.

  4. Well, Dana, I can't criticize you, because Coke is practically all I drink myself.

    Lara, remember the floaties in the water at Anaheim? Mom and Dad used to get water delivered. I think it was safe to drink, just disturbing to look at. Anyway, my point in posting about the water in the rest of the world is that we are being really wasteful with a resource a lot of people don't have have enough of, and not only that, but we generally have access to perfectly acceptable water through our own municipal systems that lots of people would consider a luxury — but we have to ramp it up by buying water, too. I'll bet a lot of folks — like those folks in Africa who spend more than a quarter of their time procuring water — would consider it crazy.

  5. 'Floaties' were probably water shrimps, which is a sign of purity. You just filter them out if you do not want to drink them.

  6. I imagine that people in outher countries find much of our consumerism crazy. (yikes!) We have a water filter on the tap which helps. Water shrimp or not…HA, I think we have guppies in our water! 😉

  7. Just a quick comment, but the first two statistics you give don't seem to make sense, if Americans spent $15 million/year on bottled water but drank 50 billion bottles? Or is the latter statistic just to illustrate annual water consumption?

  8. Hi, Fips, and welcome. Take a look at the source articles. It could be I mistranscribed something or perhaps two different studies were used and I didn't pick up on the discrepancy.

  9. here's a photoshopped Obama who has traded his plastic water bottle for a reusable one. Let's all be more like this photoshopped Obama!

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