Best and worst bottled water brands by Shine

By Lori Bongiorno

(Photo: B2M Productions / Getty Images)(Photo: B2M Productions / Getty Images) 

How much do you know about the bottled water you drink? Not nearly enough, according to a new report released today from Environmental Working Group(EWG). “Bottled water companies try hard to hide information you might find troubling,” says Jane Houlihan, senior vice president of research for the Washington D.C.-based research and advocacy group.

[Read more: Cities with the best (and worst) tap water]

EWG analyzed the labels of 173 unique bottled water products and company websites to determine if companies disclose information on where water comes from, how or if their water is treated, and whether the results of purity testing are revealed. The nonprofit also looked at how effective (and advanced) any water treatment methods are. Researchers followed up by calling dozens of bottled water companies to find out which ones willingly tell consumers what’s in their bottles.

The Environmental Protection Agency says on its website that consumers have the right to know where their water comes from and what’s in it so they can “make informed choices that affect the health of themselves and their families.” Tap water is regularly tested and consumers can find their local water info online. That’s not necessarily the case with bottled water, which is not required to disclose that information to consumers. “Bottled water is a food product and every one of these companies is complying with federal law,” says Tom Lauria, of the International Bottled Water Association.

[Video: The story of bottled water]

More than half of the bottled water products surveyed failed EWG’s transparency test –18 percent didn’t say where their water comes from, and another 32 percent did not disclose any information on treatment or purity of water.

Only three brands earned the highest possible marks for disclosing information and using the most advanced treatment methods available – Gerber Pure Purified WaterNestle Pure Life Purified Water, and Penta Ultra-Purified Water.

On the other end of the spectrum, these six brands got the worst marks in EWG’s report because they don’t provide consumers with the three basic facts about water on product labels or their company website – Whole Foods Italian Still Mineral WaterVintage Natural Spring WaterSahara Premium Drinking WaterO Water Sport Electrolyte Enhanced Purified Drinking WaterMarket Basket Natural Spring Water, andCumby’s Spring Water.

How does your bottled water brand stack up? Here’s a look at the 10 top-selling* U.S. brands:

1.     Pure Life Purified Water (Nestle), EWG grade = B

2.     Arrowhead Mountain Spring Water (Nestle), EWG grade = C

3.     Aquafina Purified Drinking Water (Pepsi), EWG grade = D

4.     Dasani Purified Water (Coca-Cola), EWG grade = D

5.     Deer Park Natural Spring Water (Nestle), EWG grade = D

6.     Ice Mountain Natural Spring Water (Nestle), EWG grade = D

7.     Ozarka Natural Spring Water (Nestle), EWG grade = D

8.     Poland Spring Natural Spring Water (Nestle), EWG grade = D

9.     Zephyrhills Natural Spring Water (Nestle), EWG grade = D

10.  Crystal Geyser Natural Alpine Spring Water (CG Roxane), EWG grade =  F

Filtered tap water received the best grade (an A) from EWG because if you change your filter regularly, EWG says it is purer than bottled water, plus it saves money (bottled water can cost up to 1,900 times more than what flows from your tap). Drinking tap water also takes less of a toll on the planet. EWG offers plenty of tips for filtering your tap water so that you can drink the healthiest water possible.

[Related: Giving up bottled water saves a shocking amount of money]

What should you do when bottled water is your only option? “While our top choice is filtered tap water, when you do need to choose bottled water, we recommend brands that tell you what’s in the water and that use advanced treatment technologies like reverse osmosis and micro-filtration,” says Houlihan. Advanced treatment technologies remove pollutants that other methods don’t. You should look for bottled water products that tell you where the water is coming from and how pure it is.

Here are the results for all 173 bottled water brands included in the report. You’ll find that some less popular brands rank even lower than our list of top-sellers.

The advice to drink filtered tap water can seem confusing when there are often reports about the contaminants found in municipal water supplies. Just last month, for example, EWG announced that cancer causing hexavalent chromium (chromium-6) is in 31 cities’ tap water. Houlihan says chromium-6 is as likely to be in your bottled water as it is in your tap water and we need action from the federal government on this. She points out that a reverse osmosis filter can remove the worrisome contaminant. You can guarantee its removal in your home supply, but in many cases you don’t know what’s in the bottle you’re drinking from.

*Sales rankings from the Beverage Marketing Corporation.

What’s In Your Bottled Water – Besides Water? 2011 Bottled Water Scorecard | Environmental Working Group

published by 2011 Bottled Water Scorecard | Environmental Working Group. Please visit the site to download the complete report and check your bottled water brand.

Pure, clean water.

That’s what the ads say. But what does the lab say?

When you shell out for bottled water, which costs up to 1,900 times more than tap water, you have a right to know what exactly is inside that pricey plastic bottle.

Most bottled water makers don’t agree. They keep secret some or all the answers to these elementary questions:

  • Where does the water come from?
  • Is it purified? How?
  • Have tests found any contaminants?

Among the ten best-selling brands, nine — Pepsi’s Aquafina, Coca-Cola’s Dasani, Crystal Geyser and six of seven Nestlé brands — don’t answer at least one of those questions.

Only one — Nestlé’s Pure Life Purified Water — discloses its water source and treatment method on the label and offers an 800-number, website or mailing address where consumers can request a water quality test report.

The industry’s refusal to tell consumers everything they deserve to know about their bottled water is surprising.

Since July 2009, when Environmental Working Group released its groundbreaking Bottled Water Scorecard, documenting the industry’s failure to disclose contaminants and other crucial facts about their products, bottled water producers have been taking withering fire from consumer and environmental groups.

A new EWG survey of 173 unique bottled water products finds a few improvements – but still too many secrets and too much advertising hype. Overall, 18 percent of bottled waters fail to list the source, and 32 percent disclose nothing about the treatment or purity of the water. Much of the marketing nonsense that drew ridicule last year can still be found on a number of labels.

EWG recommends that you drink filtered tap water. You’ll save money, drink water that’s purer than tap water and help solve the global glut of plastic bottles.

We support stronger federal standards to enforce the consumer’s right to know all about bottled water.

Until the federal Food and Drug Administration cracks down on water bottlers, use EWG’s Bottled Water Scorecard to find brands that disclose water source, treatment and quality and
that use advanced treatment methods to remove a broad range of pollutants.


The Business of Bottled Water: An “Obsession” with a Price

The Business of Bottled Water: An “Obsession” with a Price.

Books: Peter Gleick Answers Questions About His New Book, Bottled and Sold

By Eliza Barclay

for National Geographic News

Published June 14, 2010

This story is part of a special series that explores the global water crisis. For more visit National Geographic’s Freshwater website.

Everyone needs water, and in much of the developed world, they get it—virtually for free. Yet companies have made a big business out of selling water products to people with ready access to safe, clean tap water.

The effects of the bottled-water movement have been devastating, not just on wallets but also on the environment, says Peter Gleick, one of the world’s foremost experts on sustainable water use and winner of a 2003 MacArthur “genius” grant. In his first book for the general public, Bottled and Sold: The Story Behind Our Obsession with Bottled Water, Gleick explores the skillful marketing that made bottled water such a success, the myth of “clean” bottled water, and the surprising toll it has taken on our environment.

(Read more about the book on the NewsWatch Blog.)

National Geographic News writer Eliza Barclay recently spoke with Gleick, who is co-founder and president of the Pacific Institute for Studies in Development, Environment, and Security in Oakland, California.

What do you think is the most groundbreaking aspect of this book?

There were all sorts of things about how bottled water is monitored and tested and marketed that I found fascinating. It was really a lesson in how private companies are able to turn a public good into private product.

The bottom-line question for me was, how is it possible that we can be convinced to spend so much money on a commercial product when the same product is available usually a only few feet from where we might be sitting? The four reasons why I think people buy it are the fear of tap water, the convenience of bottled water, the disappearance of water fountains from public spaces, and aggressive marketing and advertising. The most difficult one is the growing concern consumers have about the quality of tap water.

What was the most bizarre thing you learned while researching this book?

The most bizarre stories have to do with strange claims made for some products—the ones with the molecules magically rearranged or that have enhanced oxygen—claims that are completely unjustifiable by science. This shows some degree of failure by the federal agencies that are supposed to protect us from false advertising.

And I don’t know if this is bizarre, but the entire life cycle of plastic bottles entails very serious environmental consequences that customers don’t really understand or know. There are huge energy costs in making plastic bottles, treating and filling them with water, and throwing them away.

If consumers knew [about these costs], consumption would go down. In some ways PET [polyethylene terephthalate, the plastic used to make many bottles] is pretty good plastic—it’s great for packaging food, it doesn’t leach nasty chemicals, and it’s completely recyclable. But there’s a big difference between recyclable and recycled. Probably 70 percent of plastic water bottles are never recycled, so that’s a very serious solid waste problem.

You mention in the book that sales of bottled water dipped for the first time in many years in 2008. Do you think they will continue to drop?

I don’t know what will happen with sales. It depends on a lot of things. It depends on how effective education is to move people away from bottled water. I believe there is more and more awareness of the problems and about how good and crucial the alternatives usually are. If we can continue to address successfully the reasons people buy bottled water, sales will continue to go down.

What do you think about the state of tap water in this country?

Consumers are increasingly worried about it. Some of that worry is legitimate, and some is unnecessary. Mostly in the U.S. we have very high-quality tap water, water that most of rest of world would love to have. But it’s also true that our tap water system is not as good as should be or could be. We should be investing more money installing state-of-the-art water purification systems everywhere and getting rid of old pipes and bad distribution systems that add bad things to clean water. It’s cheaper than relying on bottled water.

The older the city, the more likely it will have an old, leaky distribution system that might add contaminants. But some of the oldest cities in the country have wonderful systems. San Francisco delivers incredibly high-quality water. Having said that, every city should look for those pipes and parts of distribution system that are bad and replace them. This isn’t magic; we know how to solve these problems.

Do you think we take tap water for granted?

We tend to trust the government to do its job, or the private sector to do its job. And mostly our tap water is perfectly safe. Ironically for tap water, when there are problems, the public hears about it right away because there’s prompt public notification. This is a good thing, but it makes the public worry about tap water quality when doesn’t need to.

And as you say in the book, there’s no guarantee that bottled water is any better, right?

When we actually look carefully at bottled water quality, we often find problems. I found a hundred examples of bottled water recalls, many of which were never publicized. Those are just the ones found with very little monitoring. If we monitored bottled water as frequently as we monitor tap water, we’d see more and more problems.

One of your final chapters looks at the effort to produce “ethical” bottled water—water with a lower environmental impact and whose sale supports charity groups. I noticed that most of the “ethical” bottled water companies you list are in Europe. Is Europe ahead of the U.S. on bottled water?

Europe is way ahead in regulation of bottled water and requires clear, informative labels on their bottles. One of problems with the bottled water industry in the U.S. is that labels are incredibly uninformative. They don’t typically tell us where water comes from or how it’s treated or what’s in the water.

What about bottled water in developing countries? What if a government is a long way away from investing in water infrastructure?

There are many places in the world where you have to drink bottled water because safe and reliable tap water is not available. Mexico is good example. High bottled water use there is a symptom of a failure of the government to provide. It’s incredibly inequitable. The rich will buy bottled water and the poor will drink dirty tap water, and kids will get sick. But the answer is not bottled water for everyone—the long-term answer has got to be safe and affordable tap water. The poor are never going to be able to afford bottled water.

The Story of Bottled Water

The Story of Bottled Water by Madeline Ostrander, senior editor of YES! Magazine.

Worried about what’s in your tap?

That’s exactly what the water bottling industry hoped when it developed brands like Dasani, Perrier, and Poland Springs, which promise to be “natural,” “pure,” “clean,” even “sexy” alternatives to tap water.

But the very companies that market those brands, like Nestlé and Coca Cola, are putting public water supplies in jeopardy in communities both in the United States and overseas. They’re selling us a product that is often not any cleaner than tap water, and is a lot pricier.

Bottled water is a scam. The simplest way to understand why is to watch a new, short film released today by the creators of The Story of Stuff. Like its predecessor, The Story of Bottled Water uses simple language and surprisingly charming stick figures to walk you through the perils of the bottled water economy. “Bottled water costs about 2,000 times more than tap water,” says Annie Leonard, the film’s narrator and director. “Can you imagine paying 2,000 times the price of anything else? How about a $10,000 sandwich?”

The Story of Bottled Water film still

Bottled water often comes straight from the tap, sometimes with a little filtering, sometimes not. It is not necessarily safer. For instance, in 2004, the Coca-Cola company had to recall all of its Dasani water from the United Kingdom, after officials discovered the water exceeded the legal limit for bromate, a carcinogen. The Environmental Working Group recently tested 10 brands of bottled water—on average, they contained eight chemical pollutants, no better than tap water.

But there’s something even more insidious about the way that the bottled water industry preys on our public water systems and tap water. Water is both the most basic of human needs and a product of nature. It can’t actually be manufactured, so bottling it up and selling it always means removing water from a public source. As the bottled water market has taken off, we’ve seen public water fountains begin to disappear. Meanwhile, citizens in rural towns have begun to take notice that water-bottling companies are trying to sell off water that actually belongs to them. Communities like Barnstead, New Hampshire have fought hard to keep Nestle from bottling and shipping away their local water.

China’s Living Water Garden
Photo essay: Chengdu’s most popular public park is is a 5.9 acre inner-city natural water treatment system.

We’ve gotten used to thinking we have more than enough water to go around in this country, but it’s not true. According to experts like Peter Gleick, the United States is facing a water crisis that will only get worse in coming years. Already major water supplies like the Ogallala Aquifer and Lake Mead, which together supply water for millions across the Southwest and Great Plains, are in big danger of running dry. Climate change is going to alter everything we know about water—how much stays in our reservoirs, how much snow falls in the Sierras, how our rivers flow, and how much we have available to drink, irrigate our crops, and water our lawns. When we let a private company control, bottle, or sell our water—whether it’s Coca-Cola or the private water operator Thames—we’re giving up some measure of control over our health, environment, lives, and futures.

In May, YES! Magazine will unveil a full issue about how to protect our water and keep it clean and accessible. You’ll read about radical breakthroughs in contentious Western water wars, about a community that bought its water back from private control, about farms that are learning how save water by taking care of soil, and about ways to get all the water you need, even if you live in the heart of the desert.

In the meantime, you can celebrate World Water Day by watching The Story of Bottled Water, and read more about campaigns to protect water in our online and magazine coverage.

Madeline Ostrander

Madeline Ostrander is senior editor of YES! Magazine.

Life, Liberty, Water by Maude Barlow
A global water justice movement is demanding a change in international law to ensure the universal right to clean water for all.

10 drinking water scams exposed

The following information was provided by Pete Van Cleave, Water for Life

Everybody is susceptible to being scammed, simply because they want to believe!

Nowhere is this more obvious than in the drinking water business. Politics spawns a lot of lies in the water business since the government is responsible for making tap water. Franchising and exclusive territories also spawn lies.  The internet has spawned much nonsense, too, with it’s uncensored, wild west sort of approach to business. It is truly alarming to see the explosion of internet products claiming to infuse water with magical properties to cure all your ills. These specially altered waters claim to be superior because they’re wetter, oxygenated, clustered, enhanced, magnetized, energized, alkalized, vitalized, or some other pseudoscientific term.  These empty promises simply do not hold water.

We always look for scientific and verifiable data from reliable third parties than can provide the proven facts about the various treatment technologies and how pure water works to support good health.  Education is the only way to battle bogus claims. I have studied water for 20 years and I stand firm in my commitment to bring you the very best possible drinking water and water purification systems based upon the best information available.

Distillation is the only method to produce legally purified water

Since 2002, it is one of three methods to produce legally purified water.  Competitors only selling one thing tend to defend it well, but also get their blinders on regarding other advances.  Biopure Everclean Reverse Osmosis also produces microbiologically pure water according to the NSF without electricity. We believe independence protects consumers best.

Common Reverse Osmosis works as well as NSF Nano filter/Everclean Rinse Reverse Osmosis

Common Reverse Osmosis systems degrade from day one like a filter does. Microbiological contaminants often migrate through the membrane or o-rings. Everclean Rinse Reverse Osmosis prevents the membrane from degrading and keeps the water 100% consistently pure. It costs more, but the value is there because the membrane does not have to be replaced like it does with common RO.  The NSF Nano filter technology gives a non electric system barrier protection against all forms of bacteria for those undergoing chemotherapy, organ transplant, or HIV/Aids.

Throwaway bottles are not a problem because they break down in the landfill.

There is an area of floating plastic trash in the Northern Pacific ocean that is twice the size of the continental United States. Experts tell us that dangerous chemicals from industrial waste stick to the plastics and enter the food chain as it is ingested by birds and marine life.  Americans bought about 50,000,000,000 plastic bottles in 2006 and the cost of energy and pollution is staggering! It takes enough crude oil to fuel 100,000 cars for a year to make a year’s supply of those plastic bottles. It takes 1000 years for these bottles to break down 100%.

Energized, vitalized, living, hexagonal, activated, ionized, and restructured water is purported to slow aging, restore cellular balance, or raise consciousness, and promote world peace.

All scams and hoaxes supported by testimonial evidence which only tries to take advantage of feel good placebo marketing. Absolutely no third party testing or science supports this.

 Oxygenated water enhances performance and post recovery workout.

The grossly overpriced Penta water is priced at $15.00 per gallon.  Perfect water by Amway is priced at $36.00 per case. Infused with 30- 40% more oxygen than ordinary water, it is marketed on the premise that the body can actually absorb oxygen directly into the bloodstream via the digestive system. The only way to get oxygen into the blood is through the lungs.  Trying to get oxygen into your body from water is called “drowning”! Unless you have gills, there is no need to search out water with extra oxygen.  This is a case of pure fraud without physiologic foundation.

 Clustered water is the fountain of youth.

Each year, university researchers on human aging bestow their annual “Silver Fleece” award on anti-aging quackery.  The 2002 recipient was “clustered” water. Water only really clusters when it crystallizes during freezing.

Magnetic water can cure all manner of human ailments.

There is no scientific evidence that water can even be magnetized in the first place.  This scam is at odds with the fundamental laws of physics.

Advanced filters can protect you as well as legal purifiers

Filters do not protect against microbiological or inorganic contaminants. They are often not changed properly, they break down, they dump, they channel, and they produce a declining level of performance the older they get. I often test the water coming out of them worse than the water going into them because they have no automatic shutdown devices.

 Cheap spring or national brand water in 16.9 oz bottles is the answer to tap water problems.  

Teton Springs, Quibell, Lithia Springs, and Big Springs are all local springs that have gone out of business in Georgia in the past 15 years because they failed to protect their customers from microbiological contamination in their water. Crystal Springs, Dasani, and Aquafina have all been cited for contaminants in their water in the past 8 years. We have tested our water against Deer Park, Zephyr Hills, Nestle Pure Life, Crystal Geyser, and every cheap brand sold in the state of Georgia. They all test out with contamination higher than tap water.

Municipal water systems are still keeping our drinking water safe.  Every system using chlorine contains the cancer causing agent trihalomethanes.  63% of waterborne illnesses in the U.S. are directly caused by Cryptosporidium and Giardia cysts, which are city water chlorine tolerant.  Flouride is ineffective and has serious health risks.  The American Dental Association is now warning parents not to use fluoridated water in the preparation of formula. After so many “boil water” alerts, chemical spills, broken water mains, and now AP’s pharmaceutical expose, Municipalities and states are now spending $63 billion dollars a year to try to keep up, but they can’t.  Legal testing requirements and repairs are currently routinely granted waivers. Many municipalities are using the exact same technology that has been in place for 100 years.  TDS levels, by my own testing are double what they were 20 years ago.  Standards are getting tougher as we find out new scientific facts and more contaminants are being discovered.  For example, in January 2006, the standard for Arsenic was reduced from 50 PPB to 10 PPB.  That means the previous standard was off by 500 percent! The distribution system is completely laden with problems: over 237,000 water main breaks in 2006.  The distribution system is coated with dangerous layers of mineral, biological, and chemical deposits that recontaminate the water as it travels in pipes from treatment plant to homes.  We now have over 2100 chemical contaminants in the drinking water that we can test for but we don’t. The EPA estimates there is a gap of $22 billion per year between what is needed and what is done. The fact is that in the next 30 years, every city water supply in the U.S. will reach or exceed it’s expected lifetime, costing the American taxpayer somewhere near $300 billion just to fix the underground pipes. 


Pete Van Cleave

Water for Life

(770) 578-0600


Refill, NOT Landfill!

Source: Pete van Cleve, Water for Life

Save Money, Save Plastic, Save the Planet…Refill Not Landfill! 

Plastic ½ liter Bottles versus buying a Kinetico K5 Drinking Water Station from Water for Life.  

24 plastic ½ liter bottles = 3.17 Gal. @ $5.00 = $1.58 per gallon x 500 Gal. = $790 x 10 = $7900.  Equivalent of 3 cases per week for the average family of 4 saves you more than enough to buy and maintain two K5’s for 10 years and keeps 37,440 ½ liter plastic bottles out of the landfill.   Don’t use that many bottles now?  Cut it in half = $3850 saves you enough to buy and maintain one K5 for 10 years and keep 18,720 ½ liter plastic bottles out of the landfill. 

Two people drinking 1 bottle each per day for lunch for 270 working days per year @ $1.00 =$540 per year x 10 years = $5410.  You save enough to buy and maintain two K5’s for 10 years and eliminate 5400 plastic bottles or cans from the landfill.  Double these results for a family of 4.  

K5 VOCGuard =   $1419 installed year 1 price @ 500 gallons = $2.84 per gallon

                                    $197.50 service year 2 price @ 500 gallons = .395 per gallon

                                    $760.00 parts year 2 -10 price @ 500 gallons = .19 per gallon

                                    $2376.50 Total 10 year cost  

 Keep the Convenience,  Eliminate the Plastic,  Save the Planet…Refill Not Landfill! 

When you purchase a K5 Drinking Water Station from Water for Life, we provide each member of your family with their choice of a Water for Life Glass Pitcher and 4 Glasses or up to 4 refillable, dishwasher safe Stainless Steel, Eastar, or Polycarbonate bottles to use at games, to take outside while mowing the lawn, to take with you in the car, to take to work or school, and to use while watching TV instead of washing glasses or using plastic cups.   

Live more Abundantly with the K5 Drinking Water Station…Refill Not Landfill!

Are you rationing your expensive pure water bottles just for some drinking now and using 1 case or less per week?  With a K5 Drinking Water Station from Water for Life, Mom can cook or make coffee with it, give a treat to the dog, get the kids drinking more water, water the plants with it, use it in the steam iron, make ice cubes with it, make drink mix drinks instead of Coke or juice when the kids want something sweet, fill the stainless steel bottles half way and freeze them overnight and refill them completely before games for an ice cold drink at lunch, work, or school,  and Dad can drink ice cold purified water instead of Coke after mowing the lawn, serve K5 water for dinner from a pitcher into glasses instead of drinking Cokes or using more bottles, make mixed drinks with K5 water when friends come over,  make iced tea with K5 water at parties or serve pure water from the Water for Life Pitcher into Water for Life Glasses to guests instead of passing out plastic bottles.  Extra bottles or Glassware are available for purchase. 

Healthier Family…Refill Not Landfill! 

If your average family of 4 each buys a Coke per day for lunch spending .50 cents each for 270 days per year, you will spend $540 per year and $5410 in 10 years on Coke! Wouldn’t it be healthier to drink Cokes only every other day and drink K5 water on alternative days?  The savings actually pays for two K5’s and the family would be healthier because they would be consuming less sugar or artificial sweetener, less caffeine and carbonation, less artificial flavor and food color.  What if you drank pure water every day?

Go to this link to view a 4 minute K5 video.                                                                                                                           

visit Water for Life online or call them at 770-578-0600 

 Always fresh,  Always pure…Guaranteed!                  Call 770-578-0600

Think outside the bottle!

Join me and break the bottled water habit! Getting rid of bottled water is a win-win! You save money and water and help lessen the amount of plastic in landfills! You can now even win a trip to Glacier National Park. Please learn more about the campain here 

Break the Bottled Water Habit, Win a Prize and Cut Your Carbon

When you want pure, healthy drinking water, you should reach for bottled water, right? Surprisingly, on neither a personal nor a global level are you making a healthy choice.

For each gallon of water bottled, two gallons are wasted; producing the plastic wastes  the energy equivalent of a quarter-bottle’s worth of oil. And what’s in the bottle could just be tap water.

New American Dream and Corporate Accountability International is asking you to think about where the water in that bottle came from, where the plastic is going, and take the Break the Bottled Water Habit pledge( and drink to a healthy ecosystem.

During October, make a conscious choice to slake your thirst without drying up our planet’s resources. In addition to benefiting the environment, participants will have a chance to win a free condo for a week at a ski resort in Idaho.  Visit the website ( now to get started.

Water is LIFE



A few months ago, on World Water Day, I saw Stephen Colbert’s show dedicated to Water. Colbert Report, March 20, 2008

Regardless of the opinion you may have of him as a comedian or on his political views, he made some very valid points and had some very interesting interviews. Please visit Water is Life on Colbert to view some of the videos; especially thirst locally – drink globally and Visit to the American Museum of Natural History is extremely interesting (more info on this exhibit can be found here Exhibition H2O=Life)

Clean, plentiful water is not always available where and when it’s needed. Indeed, water shortages and pollution threaten individuals, communities and countries around the globe. But many water problems also have solutions. From households to huge cities, elected officials to entrepreneurs, everyone has a role to play in protecting Earth’s water.


How much water do people use each day?

573 liters (151 gallons) per person per day U.S., average domestic and municipal use

118 liters (31 gallons) per person per day United Kingdom, average domestic and municipal use

10 liters (3 gallons) per person per day Ethiopia, average domestic and municipal use

People in the U.S. and Canada use much more water than residents of most other countries. In the U.K. and most other European countries, people live more water-efficient lifestyles. Most Ethiopians, like many others in the developing world, can’t get enough water to ensure basic health and sanitation.


Message in a Bottle

The average North American in 2005 consumed about 80 liters (21 gallons) of bottled water. Globally, consumption nearly doubled between 1997 and 2005, and the U.S. is the largest total consumer of bottled water. Manufacturing all those bottles uses a lot of water—twice as much as the bottles contain. Worldwide, over 2.7 million tons of plastic are used for water bottles, but in the U.S. only about 20 percent of the bottles are recycled. The total estimated energy needed to make, transport and dispose of one bottle of water is equivalent to filling the plastic bottle one-quarter full of oil.


Pure Imagination

People often choose bottled water assuming it’s safer than tap water, and perhaps imagining it comes from a pristine mountain spring. Most bottled water is safe-but so is the municipal water that is the source of an estimated 40 percent of U.S. bottled water. About 25% of bottled water sold is simply re-processed/used municipal(city) water according to a 1999 study in the United States.[10] Both Aquafina from Pepsi-Cola Company and Dasani from The Coca-Cola Company are reprocessed from municipal water systems. [11][12] Some bottled waters, such as Penta Water make unverified health benefit claims. While there have been few comprehensive studies, one analysis several years ago found that about 22 percent of brands that were tested contain, in at least one sample, chemical contaminants at levels above strict state health limits. If consumed over a long period of time, some of these contaminants could cause cancer or other health problems[13] at rates higher than those considered tolerable by the regulatory body setting the standards. In addition, 60 to 70 percent of all bottled water in the U.S. is packaged and sold in a state that is not regulated by the FDA


Smarter Solutions

If you want to carry water with you, why not get a reusable bottle and refill it at the tap?


By the Numbers

Average price of tap water in the U.S. = less than $.01 a gallon

Average price of bottled water in the U.S. = about $10 a gallon

More on Bottled Water on Wikipedia