J500 Media and the Environment

We are what we . . . drink??? by bryand09
February 27, 2009, 11:42 am
Filed under: Business + Politics, Food + Health | Tags: , , , , ,

All this talk about food is making me thirsty. Anyone else care for a bottled water?

Uploaded to flickr.com on August 17, 2006 by treidling

Uploaded to flickr.com on August 17, 2006 by treidling

No? Why not? Is it because it’s insane to pay money for water that we could have got out of any tap? Is it because the company selling us the water is pretty much taking it out of the ground at an alarming rate of sometimes 800 gallons per minute for free (and with huge tax incentives) and draining a resource that we all must have to survive?

Water. H20. Agua. Eau. We have to have it. And we need to defend it from being contaminated by the “116,000 human-made chemicals that are finding their way into public water supply systems.”

Ok so maybe that bottled water is looking pretty good right now? Actually, bottled water is sometimes less regulated than the water in the public drinking supply: “The EPA mandates that local water treatment plants provide city residents with a detailed account of tap water’s source and the results of any testing, including contaminant level violations. Bottled water companies are under no such directives.”

In all the talk about food, we forget that 70 percent of water irrigates our agriculture. 20 percent flows (or flushes) for commercial use. Only 10 percent is left for us to drink. Local farming, organic farming and community farming have the potential to dramatically reduce the excessive amounts of water that is used.

We need to start asking some basic questions about our water supply and the effects private companies have on it. We constantly talk about “away” being a place. But whether water is flushed or drained or poured out, it can never really go away.

Here’s the best primer on water I’ve seen to date. Here’s what the NY Times, Treehugger, and USA Today thought.

— Bryan Dykman


4 Comments so far
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When it comes to bottled water, there’s also the ethics of adding sodium — which aids in dehydrating you, so that, therefore, you need more liquids (in this case, another bottle). I have one of those pitchers with a filter in it that I use for my drinking water, but, even then, I do wonder how much “questionable” stuff’s in what I’m drinking. That, said, though, I’m still going to keep filling my own bottles from the tap.

Comment by marybethw

I think what you are doing is smart. Extra filtering can’t be a bad thing. I’d like to do some water testing myself and find out exactly what we are drinking.

Comment by bryand09

10 percent is left for us to drink. Out of the 3 percent of water on the entire planet that isn’t salty to begin with.

Many people think the next big resource war (after oil) will be water. Who will we invade? What alternative fuels will we come up with to get us out of that problem?

Comment by Lauren Keith

70% of our water goes toward agriculture… I wonder how much of that goes toward growing the food to feed the animals we’ll be eating? When I think about these things I’m embarrassed that I still eat meat sometimes.

Comment by amandat09

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