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Friday, August 3, 2007

WATER, WATER, EVERYWHERE??

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Today, this story was making the headlines: "NEW YORK - So you thought that water in your Aquafina bottle came from some far-away spring bubbling deep in a glen? Try the same place as the water in your tap.

PepsiCo Inc. is the latest company to offer some clarity about the source of its top-selling bottled water as it announced on Friday it would change the label on Aquafina water bottles to spell out that the drink comes from the same source as tap water."



Want to know more about this important issue? Watch the video below, an interview with Brian C. Howard, author of the article "Message in a Bottle".

Here is the report mentioned in the video, by the Natural Resources Defense Council, "on the results of our four-year study of the bottled water industry, including its bacterial and chemical contamination problems. The petition and report find major gaps in bottled water regulation and conclude that bottled water is not necessarily safer than tap water."

AND, WATCH THIS HUMOROUS, YET VERY REVEALING, VIDEO. (Caution-- swearing in this second video, but it's worth watching; I'm just warning you in case it might offend you.)

We are being duped, something I've believed for a long time. This video shows the extreme to which this has gone.

More articles:


Bottled Water Isn't Healthier Than Tap, Report Reveals

Bottled Water and Snake Oil

Pouring Resources Down the Drain

Please remember that we in North America and Europe are blessed with an abundance of clean water. Let's be thankful that we are not in Baghdad, where some neighborhoods have been dry for a week, and those that have it risk illness if they drink it. The electricity grids are so strained that they can't be used for water purification! So, let's get some perspective.



However, I know that not everyone has good water. Some of the water here on Denman Island, where most of us have wells, is delicious (like ours) and some has such a strong smell of sulphur that you can't drink it. What do you do? Consider Earth Water. (Hat Tip: my good friend Fireweed)



"Did you know...

...that globally, there are 6000 deaths daily, and 2.2 million annually - all due to the lack of clean drinking water?

...In the past 10 years, water related diseases have amounted to more deaths among children than the combination of all the deaths attributed to armed conflict since the Second World War.

Earth Water International is a bottled water company; a new type of corporation whose bottom line is to help save the lives of people in the most desperate of situations.

Earth Water works in support of the United Nations Refugee Agency (UNHCR) by donating 100% of it's net profits to be used in water aid programmes in developing countries.

Unlike other corporations, Earth Water's shareholders are every man, woman and child living in the most desperate of situations. Earth Water makes all of its corporate decisions by considering how our policies will impact our world and the people around us.

...our profitability is gauged by how well our corporation is able to positivley impact the lives of citizens around the world and by maintaining sustainable economic practices."




"Access to water is a basic human right. Ensuring refugees have an adequate supply of clean fresh water is the UNHCR’s top priority. Water is brought immediately to refugee camps by using trucks. Over long periods of time, UNHCR sets up permanent, sustainable and cost-effective water supply systems.

The UNHCR cares for 20.8 million people in 117 countries.

Of that 20.8 million people:

8.4 million are refugees

6.6 million are internally displaced persons

5.8 million are stateless, refugees who have returned home but need assistance, asylum seekers, or are others of concern"


UN "Water for life" website and their "Kids' Corner" with lots of resouces for students. This site has information on all of the issues around water, including gender issues.

Check the Earth Water website for where you can find it all over the world. They have cooler systems, as well as bottles.

So, if we MUST use bottled water (and we all do from time to time-- on trips, etc.), let's make sure the profits are not going to a big soft drink conglomerate like Pepsi (sells "Aquafina") or CocaCola (sells "Dasani"), or HUGE big business like Nestle, which sells "Pure Life"! Let's make the profits work for those who have no access to clean water!

ALTERNATIVES TO BOTTLED WATER?

Of course, the ideal would be for everyone to have access to free, clean, safe tap water for drinking. Even non-profit bottled water is not the answer! The Natural Resources Defense Council (their report on bottled water is the subject of the video below) has an excellent page on water, and issues such as activism, fighting and preventing pollution, and water conservation and restoration. They have a page called "Consumer Guide to Water Filters: How to find the right water filter for your home". "NRDC is working toward the day when all Americans can drink and shower in tap water without worry, but if you have immediate concerns about the water in your home, an independently certified water filter can be a good temporary fix for your kitchen faucet. Some filters aim to produce clearer, better-tasting water, while others work to remove contaminants that could affect your health. This guide will help you determine what type of filter might be right for your home."

They also have a page on "How to Clean Up Our Water: Twelve simple ways you can help stem the tide of polluted runoff" (These are available in Spanish and English.)

Peace/Shalom/Salaam



"MESSAGE IN A BOTTLE" VIDEO:



NOTE: My vegan Peruvian recipes are featured on a blog post at the wonderful blog Peru Food! It's a real honor to be featured there!

8 comments:

Anonymous said...

Hi Briana!

I would love to email you a message but I can't find an email link anywhere! Would it be possible for you to email me at ferozan@webguerrilla.com? Thanks so much for your time!

Ferozan :)

shaun.marie said...

Thanks for drawing attention to this important issue! Water insecurity is so hard for us (in moist climates, like Portland!) to imagine. In my recent move across the country I stopped in Las Vegas for a night - that's one place in this country that really puts our water consumption in perspective.

julie said...

Have you ever watched Penn and Teller's show "Bullshit"? They did a show on bottled water that's really good: http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid=6769966377964903559&q=bullshit+%2B+bottled+water&total=16&start=0&num=10&so=0&type=search&plindex=0

Julie said...

ops, I don't think the link worked, try this: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=
XfPAjUvvnIc

Bryanna Clark Grogan said...

Julie-- there's a link in my text to that very video (I didn't embed it because I didn't want to offend anyone with the swearing)-- the link is in "this humorous" in the 5th paragraph.

water dragon said...

These issues are so complex with much pseudo-science and politicism being presented as fact. Still, an awareness of the angles should help us make more informed decisions. Good water is such an important factor in health; I'm glad you have concerns about it and try to elevate our consciousness.

Julie said...

oh, haha! I didn't even notice!!

I love that show! Really interesting :]

Speedwell said...

Here in Houston, tap water, from the mess of local water plants and aging infrastructure, is usually implicated in a few infectious breakouts a year.

However, we have a great number of well-maintained filter stations at which you can refill your own bottles for about thirty cents a gallon. The water from them is consistently excellent. They're usually located in grocery store parking lots and street corners where there is also a lot of middle-income or lower multi-family housing. Whole Foods Market also has one inside the store we find convenient.