Portland Business Journal - Wednesday, May 30, 2007
God Bless Professor Jarvis for shedding light on this issue!!! The bottled water companies would like you to believe that the water from your tap is not healthy and that you should drink bottled water instead!! Not only is tap water safe, in many cases it is better than bottled water. And, most importantly, bottled water has a HUGE negative impact on the environment as Professor Jarvis points out!! Lastly, bottled water costs more per gallon than gasoline!! Think about that next time you reach for a bottle!!
Those ubiquitous containers carrying nothing but water are adding up to a substantial environmental headache, according to an assistant professor at Oregon State University.
Around the world, factories are using more than 18 million barrels of oil and up to 130 billion gallons of fresh water a year to create something that, by and large, most people don't need. But the product is so amazingly popular that sales are going up 10 percent a year.
Those resources are needed just to make the bottles. Filling them is another story.
Another 41 billion gallons of water is used to fill the bottles with water that is often just tap water, and other times has less frequent monitoring for safety or purity than if it had come out of a tap.
"Bottled water has become an incredibly big business, up to $100 billion per year," said Todd Jarvis, an assistant professor in the Water Resources Graduate Program at Oregon State University, and a research hydrogeologist with the OSU Institute for Water and Watersheds. "There are enormous amounts of money to be made here. Some of the profits make our business majors blush, and everyone wants in. It's just astonishing."
Jarvis, who has studied the issue for 15 years and makes frequent presentations on it, arrived long ago at a simple conclusion: Bottled water is not worth the price, and the people buying it often have no idea of the environmental repercussions.
Oregon lawmakers recently moved to address a portion of the problem by adding bottled water to the list of beverages needing a deposit payment.