• It's a rip-off - big time.
Coca-Cola was forced to admit in 2004 that Dasani is just tap water. Nestle's has had to add "Public Water Source" to the label of their Pure Life brand.
The upshot is that you pay multiple times more for a product that is available to you at minimal cost from your kitchen faucet.
• Tap water is regulated, but bottlers face few regulations and are rarely inspected.
• Bottled water is an environmental disaster.
While these bottles can be recycled, eighty percent end up in landfills where they take a long time to degrade. They are also found floating in a mass of other non-biodegradable debris that is twice the size of Texas and is known as the Pacific Ocean Garbage Patch.
Since three times more water is used to produce the bottle than the amount it will contain, it is a process that wastes a life-giving resource.
Bottled water also consumes significant amounts of non-renewable fossil fuels in the manufacture of the bottles, extraction of the water and transporting it to plants, and then to distribution points. The entire process adversely impacts air quality and adds to climate change. Does it make sense to take water from New Zealanders and bring it here to the US?
For example, when ABC's Good Morning America blind-tested its studio audience in 2001 by asking them to taste samples of New York City's tap water, Poland Spring, Evian and oxygenated 02, the Big Apple won hands down.
• What is the likely long-term impact on the world's water supply?
Like oil, our supply of water is not inexhaustible. Unlike oil, there is NO substitute.