by Marvin J Ramirez
Not long ago, people got their water only from the tap. Now, almost most people buy water in a bottle, sometimes thinking the quality is better.
A water seller came by my office sometimes ago. He offered me one of those big water gallons for free.
“For free? I asked. Yes, he said, but I would need to sign up for a contract. I said: “No thanks. I don’t think I need it.”
“Where do you get your water from” he asked. I said, “from the tap.”
Then we entered into a short, friendly discussion, and I was able to explain to him that we have ran articles – sponsored by KQED – in the paper about the this subject, and I assured him that in fact tap water in San Francisco is one of the ones in the nation. And that bottled water could be of less quality.
According to the International Bottled Water Association (IBWA), North Americans drank 5 billion gallons of water in 2001. That’s about the same amount of water that falls from the American Falls at Niagara Falls in two hours.
The business of selling bottled water has grown to great proportions in more than a decade, and have taken a large space at nearly every supermarket, convenience store and vending machine from coast to coast, where dozens of brands compete for consumers’ dollars. In four years, industry experts anticipate that bottled water will be second only to soda pop as America’s beverage of choice, according to a report.
Water, of course, is essential to human health. Drinking enough water to replace whatever is lost through bodily functions is important. Besides the water inside the bottle, which according to experts is not different or perhaps not any better from tap water, cities around the globe are taking now steps that could reduce the consumption of bottle water.
Noticing on the environmental impact caused by the huge number of plastic bottle out there in the market, are many cities nationwide and globally.
A push to bring back the tap, led by mayors who want to cut down on global warming is underway.
According to a report, nothing irks Salt Lake City Mayor Ross (Rocky) Anderson more than seeing people tote water in plastic bottles. In fact, he argues, his city has some of the best tap water in the country. Several months ago, Anderson instructed department heads to stop buying bottled water for the city’s 2,200 workers and provide coolers and fountains instead.
And this is now happening in San Francisco, where the city is going to stop buying bottle water for city employees, which has been costing the city millions every year.
Anderson is urging the U.S. Conference of Mayors to promote tap water as a way to limit greenhouse-gas emissions.
Most water brands are packaged in a plastic derived from crude oil, polyethylene terephthalate (PET). Those containers are then transported on diesel-burning trucks-or shipped in from exotic destinations like Fiji, generating greenhouse gases.
Water from the tap, is good, and healthy. Stop buying water when you can get for free, while you will protect the environment.