Water babies and bottles and Berkeys

Water is always an interesting issue. Take bottles of water for example. For ages tap water got a bad press: but it seems like a great many of the stories came from vested interests: sellers of bottled water, water machines or water filters. Now there are movements against bottled water, which may have only made the manufacturers work extra hard to sell in a shrinking market.

If you haven’t seen the Evian rollerbabies, check them out on Youtube. As is often the case, the ‘making of‘ clip is almost better. The interview is good too.

But — bottled water still a no-go area, for so many reasons: its use of plastics, its transportation waste and its plain expense. Here’s a 20/20 program from last year which held one of those taste tests that are so satisfying in their unpredictability…

Let us not forget that Dasani is, after all, tap water. And any water in plastic bottles is suspect – whether tap or branded – and likely to contain Bisphenol A, particularly if it’s exposed to heat, so keep using those metal water bottles. But it seems that consumers are turning away from bottled water, whether because they can’t afford it or because that wave is ending. Let’s hope it’s the latter.

Even if it is, the sharks are circling as the dwindling reserves of good drinking water start to create scarcity. And where there is scarcity, there is opportunism, and unsustainable solutions to shortages.

The Current did a great series on water last year, called Watershed, which they’ve been repeating this summer. One of the programs I caught talked about desalination plants in Israel, which sound like a great idea until the cons were enumerated: the energy required for the process; the unknown effects on the ocean of pumping highly salinated residue back into it; the introduction into the ocean of byproducts of the process. And the speakers questioned the point of going through all that in order to irrigate desert greenhouses so that this parched nation could export its precious water in the form of fruits, flowers and vegetables.

Much more to think about on this subject. But friends and neighbours are aquiring Berkey water filters in the meantime, partly for health reasons and partly in the interests of water security (living on an island as we do makes one think about many things, as almost everything is ferried or flown over here, including chemicals for treating the water supply). As one of them said: please buy one – I don’t want to be the only one who has one!

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