My attention has recently been drawn to the increasing opposition students, consumers and activists are having to bottled water. A US-based group called Think Outside the Bottle is beginning an advocacy campaign to bring awareness to some of the more dire consequences of our thirst for bottled water, and even government agencies are beginning to act to reduce their consumption.
“City and state governments are looking at the economics of banning bottled water. Citing environmental concerns and a misallocation of resources, Los Angeles; San Francisco; Ann Arbor, Mich.; and the state of Illinois have banned the use of public funds to purchase bottled water for city and state functions…In June, the US Conference of Mayors adopted a resolution to bring attention to the negative impact of bottled water and promote local sources."
The director of a consumer rights group called Food and Water Watch has noticed that people of all types are showing increased awareness about issues involved with bottled water, according to the Christian Science Monitor. "I overhear small children in the grocery store telling their mothers not to buy it."
The negative impacts of bottled water are undeniable, but as a fact sheet the Monitor put out for World Water Day illustrates, the politics of water internationally are extremely complicated. In many parts of the world, bottled water is the only sanitary way to access the resource, and at the moment there is no alternative. The lesson? In places where the water is drinkable, drink it!