June 25, 2007

The backlash against bottled water.

SF mayor Gavin Newsom is absolutely right:


Bissage said...

National Drinking Water Week?!

hdhouse said...

He is. I think the selling of bottled water is one of the great advertising achievements of all times. Here. Drink this. We hardly even filter it. It has tons of stuff in it we don't care about filtering out. We put it in a container that lasts for 1000 years. We get the raw product pretty much for free. You are a stupid consumer. We are smart packagers.

Ahh the wonders of product marketing.

Ann Althouse said...

Especially in SF, where, as noted in the article, the tap water -- from a Yosemity glacier -- is better than most bottled water. What fools people are! And the city was paying $500,000 a year for the stuff.

Paco Wové said...

It's interesting -- and a wee bit ironic -- to see the Sierra Club member extolling the virtues of water from Hetch Hetchy reservoir, as the Sierra Club's official position is that the dam creating the reservoir should be removed.

TMink said...

Mr House wrote: "You are a stupid consumer. We are smart packagers."

Correct. I guess the "air bar" promoters were not so savy.


Wade Garrett said...

My larger concern is with the environmental impact of people throwing away millions of plastic bottles every year, when they could just as easily fill a glass from the tap or, if they're on the go, fill up a Nalgene bottle at a water fountain and carry it around with them the rest of the day.

Charlie Eklund said...

Bottled water, of course, contains no flouride which has led to a startling rise in dental cavities.

Bottled water; expensive and bad for you to boot.

I think I need a cigarette.

paul a'barge said...

use water from the Hetch Hetchy Reservoir in Yosemite National Park ... that's from the linked article.

You think this sounds straightforward and simple, right? F' the bottles, let's hit that Hetch Hetchy, gulp gulp.

If you've ever been to Yosemite, imagine a sibling valley virtually as grandiose as Yosemite, albeit a tad smaller.

That's what the Calif and San Fran Nans dammed up when they built Hetch Hetchy. They had a catalog of much lesser valleys they could have destroyed but chose to tell John Muir to shove it.

Do some history research and you'll find that the destruction of Hetch Hetchy was extremely controversial at the time.

So, riddle me this. If part of the solution to tearing down the dam that creates the Hetch Hetchy resevoir is to buy bottled water, on which side of the issue would you stand?

As a small government (little g), big C Conservative, I'd vote for bottles every time.

Gavin is a moron, and the population of a once-great American city are getting what they deserve, but someone needs to chant this in Gavin's face:
"Mr Mayor, tear down that dam!"

SteveR said...

Paul: let's start with Glen Canyon.

Internet Ronin said...

As I understand it, the mayor has effectively banned the continued use of water coolers, and city employees will now have use the faucets in public restrooms to get their water. I doubt this will prove popular, but we shall see.

Paul's right about Hetch-Hetchy. After 100 years of being under water, however, I doubt the canyon would look even remotely appealing should the dam be removed. (BTW, I believe that San Francisco is operating some kind of water-rationing regime at the moment due to insufficient rainfall in the Hetch-Hetchy catch basin, and wonder what effect this change will have on overall usage.)

LoafingOaf said...

I drink tap water in my home because Cleveland has good tap water.

If San Francisco has been spending 500 grand on bottled water, it's sensible to cut that out.

But I don't think I'm a "fool" for opting for bottled water when I'm outside my home...say, wanting to wet my whistle and picking Aquafina at the vending machine instead of a less healthy soda. According to NPR, drinking fountains are more germ-ridden than toilets. And a kid who did tests after his school banned bottled water discovered that even the cleanest drinking fountains are dirtier than sticking your head into a public toilet and lapping up some water with your tongue.

So, you also have to consider what spigots you're getting your water from - in addition to the quality of the city water in general - before you can declare tap water as good as bottled water and everyone who snags an Aquafina a "fool".

And btw, plastic bottles are recyclable.

LoafingOaf said...

I drink tap water in my home because Cleveland has good tap water.

Though I should add that there was one week I was extremely relieved the supermarkets were full of bottled water. A few years ago the power grid went out in my entire city and also took down the pumps that brought water to my suburd. My dog drank Fiji that weekend and I was very happy bottled water was available.

halojones-fan said...

So what Gavin Newsom is saying, here, is that he's personally ensured that all of the water-supply sources in every bathroom and kitchen of every municipal building are just as clean, sanitary, and sterile as a plastic bottle of water.

And, as Internet Ronin points out, this bans the water-cooler as well as supplies of Dasani.

Oh, and does this mean that city workers who supply their own water will get fired? (Or face the grade-school drama of having their managers check their bags every day for verboten items.)