Wednesday, 8 October 2008


Water went on sale and we bought it. Remember the time when we didn't carry water in labelled plastic bottles?
I nearly always have a bottle of water with me, but at least I can say that I only bought the bottle once and have refilled it from the tap numerous times. The bottled water industry has already passed milk and beer in sales (in the US at least), the empty bottles are fodder for land fill and cost a lot (environmentally) in transport and manufacture terms. And where does the water come from? Who owns the water?
At our last Eco Book Group we discussed Bottlemania: how water went on sale and why we bought it by Elizabeth Royte. Most of Royte's examples are US based, but the same principles apply world wide. The success of the commercialisation of the water industry when people already had good water to drink is a phenomenon that she tries to explore. She discovers that not all tap water is perfect. And, that bottled water does have its place but it's often no better than tap water.
Why would you pay some multinational company a lot more for a litre of the stuff?


Denis Wilson said...

Hi Boobook
Glad to see your group reading that excellent book.
My local Save Water Alliance are trying to develop links with water warriors elsewhere in Australia, to fight the madness of coal mining under rivers, plundering of aquifers, and of course, things like the north-south pipeline in Victoria (to steal water from the Murray system for Melbourne).
Coca-cola Amatil pays the NSW Government $182 per year, for the right to plunder the aquifers of Mangrove Mountain (near Gosford) for water which it sells for millions and millions of dollars. It is obscene.
There is half a cup of oil goes into making each PET bottle, too. So it is not even sustainable. Plus drink bottles amount for a huge percentage of waste which Ian Tiernan's people clean up each year.
Good on you for raising the issue on your blog.
Water is a scarce resource, and we are giving huge companies enormous profits for a product we do not need. Australia's drinking water is world class (except Adelaide).

Gouldiae said...

G'day Boobook,
One of my pet hates too. I recommend a look at the transcript of a recent Landline episode -
I could not believe the attitude of some of the landowners.

Gouldiae said...

G'day Boobook,
Me again. Did you catch 'Stateline' on the ABC last night?

Boobook said...

A week ago I was talking to Geoff, the local chap they interviewed about the acidification of the peat swamp as the water level dropped, and he was telling us then that they blamed the water authority's tapping into the aquifer. It looked really bad didn't it - dead vegetation across the swamp.