Archive for the 'bottled water' Category

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Bottled water companies target minorities

“New York, New York - Water is the lifeblood of this planet, whose inhabitants are watching its accelerated spiral into crisis mode even as they struggle to address the issues and lifestyles that are stretching the earth’s resources thin.

Outwardly, the global water crisis appears straightforward – people simply consume too much water. A key factor in this spiral is the fact that water has been morphing from a natural resource into a marketable – and costly – product, experts and reports have shown.

Exploring different aspects of the global water crisis, from privatisation of water to corporations marketing to minorities, reveals that water – as a human right, as a product, as a natural resource – is firmly entangled with a host of issues in areas, including public health.

By 2025, 1.8 billion people will live in areas with absolute water scarcity, and two-thirds of the world’s population – projected to reach eight billion by then – will be under stress conditions. Some 1.4 billion currently lack access to safe water.

Humans consume water at a rate more than twice that of population growth, according to the UN’s Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO). In 60 per cent of European cities with a population greater than 100,000, groundwater is used more quickly than it is replenished, said the World Business Council for Sustainable Development.

Yet even though humans consume more water than is sustainable, some would say that people do not drink enough water, and when they do, they’re often being tricked into doing so.”

Read More: Al Jazeera


Bottled water ban ‘stupid’

Drying up ... A vending machine on university campus.

Retrieved from: The Age

“THE peak body for the bottled water industry has called the Victorian College of the Arts’ decision to ban the sale of bottled water ”stupid”.

“Last week, the VCA announced it would stop selling bottled water at its Southbank campus in a bid to reduce its environmental footprint. The university has installed 10 new drinking fountains instead.

“The Australasian Bottled Water Institute’s chief executive, Geoff Parker, said the ban would not only create a ”nanny campus” but questioned the environmental benefits of the decision.

”If they are serious about reducing their environmental footprint, they probably need to ban soft drinks and coffee and just about every other commercial beverage other than bottled water, which has one of the lowest environmental footprints of any beverage,” Mr Parker said.”

Read more: The Age


Residents try to stop a new bottled water plant in Lake County

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“The fight is to stop another company from pumping water out of the aquifer.

This time it’s a local doctor who is behind the project. He owns the land off County Road 561 where he wants to pump up to 100,000 gallons of water out of the ground every day.

Sharon and Mike Torres live next door and get very protective about their water. They’ve been fighting for over a decade to block Dr. Hang Ju Chon from moving forward.

“It’s our water, and they want to pull our water out of here to make a profit and sell it,” said Sharon. “I just don’t think that should happen. I don’t think that we should let that happen.”

Attorneys representing Chon tried convincing Lake County’s planning and zoning board Wednesday to recommend giving the doctor a permit.

“He thinks he has a niche. He has already named it Dr. Chon’s Springwater,” Attorney Anthony Cotter told the board.

Cotter said he expects the case is going to stir up controversy, especially after the water war Niagara Bottling faced in Lake County to pump almost half a million gallons of water out of the ground a day.”

Read more: cfnews


Water pollution and health awareness driving bottled water consumption in China

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“Bottled water plays a major role in solving water pollution problems and providing the public with safe and convenient drinking water. It is one of the fastest growing and competitive industries in China.

The report begins with an overview to the bottled water market in China covering the market size and growth. It also gives a brief introduction to the various bottled water segments widely used in the market. It further shows overall import and export of mineral and aerated water, as well as the segmented share for major countries.

An analysis of the drivers influencing the industry growth includes China’s rampant water pollution, increasing health awareness, poor quality tap water, huge population and increasing disposable income, panic water buying triggered by chemical spills and impact of natural calamities.”

Read more: openpr

Lake Erie Water-Use Bill Deserves A Veto

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“The legislation — pushed by Cleveland-area State Sen. Tim Grendell, of Chesterland, and by a Northwest Ohio lawmaker who heads a bottling company — would discard current safeguards and let any business withdraw up to 5 million gallons of water a day from Lake Erie and up to 2 million gallons daily from inland rivers and groundwater aquifers without any permits or other restrictions.

That’s purely irresponsible and a grave threat to the region’s prime asset, jeopardizing the drinking water of more than 3 million people and a $10 billion-a-year tourism industry.

It also violates the spirit and possibly the letter of the binding 2008 Great Lakes Compact – a bipartisan pact to protect the world’s largest freshwater lake system that was signed by all eight Great Lakes states and two Canadian provinces, ratified by Congress and signed into law by President George W. Bush.”

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Another Cost of Bottled Water: Environmental Injustice and Inequity

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“In March 2011, the Pacific Institute released a study looking at some of the costs of contaminated drinking water in California’s Central Valley for low-income communities where groundwater is contaminated with high levels of nitrates. One of the major conclusions of this new study is that the costs of avoiding unsafe tap water were higher for low-income and minority households that were disproportionately affected by contamination. In the communities studied, the average total water costs for households took 4.6% of median household income, more than three times the affordability threshold for drinking water recommended by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). Much of this added cost was for bottled water purchases or the purchase of household filters. Additional costs, such as the possible increased health problems associated with drinking contaminated water, were not evaluated, but are real.

Now a new study has been published online in the Archives of Pediatrics and Adolescent Medicine(by M.H. Gorelick, L. Gould, M. Nimmer, D. Wagner, M. Heath, H. Bashir, and D.C. Brousseau) showing that even in areas with safe tap water, African American and Latino parents were three times more likely to give their children mostly bottled water compared to non-Latino white children, because of their belief that bottled water is safer, cleaner, better tasting, or more convenient. The economic implications of this also showed serious inequities: as a percentage of household income, whites reported median spending of 0.4% of their income on bottled water; African Americans and Latinos reported median spending to be more than twice as high. Similarly, African Americans and Latinos were more than twice as likely to report that they “had to give up other things in order to purchase bottled water.” The authors of the study conclude: “For poor families, the use of bottled water may lead to less availability of resources for other health needs, as suggested in our study by the rather striking levels of expenditure on water relative to household income.”

A third factor is recently released data on global and national sales of bottled water. While per-capita and even total sales of bottled water in many richer, developed nations like the United States and large parts of Europe have recently slowed or even declined, markets for bottled water in poorer developing countries are growing rapidly, because of fear of contaminated tap water, inadequate municipal water systems, and increased marketing on the part of bottled water companies. Sales of bottled water in Mexico, China, and parts of India, for example, are skyrocketing. Yet even in these countries, sales are pushed by richer segments of society, while the poor either continue to drink contaminated water and get sick or pay disproportionate shares of their limited income for alternative water supplies.”

Read more: Huffington Post


Bottled water recalled after mold found in shipment

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“LITTLE ROCK, AR – FDA has issued a recall for bottled water in Arkansas that has a nationwide distribution as Mountain Pure Water.

The company announced a voluntary recall of lots marked with a four-digit code. The time code is written in military time, and the affected time period is from 2200 through 0400.

The code is etched into the plastic bottles of water. The affected product also includes an expiration date code that says Best By 2-27-2013 MPWA or Best By 2-28-2013 MPWA.

These are bottles of purified drinking water in the 16.9 fl. oz. (506ml.) size. Alabama Department of Health is recommending that anyone who might have purchased or received any of this bottled water dispose of it or return it to the point of purchase or distribution.

The recall was issued after mold was found in samples of the water.”

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Great Lakes as Sacred Places

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“North America’s Great Lakes, which have suffered plenty from commerce, were also once sacred. The Ojibwe believed that Lake Superior, with the largest surface area of any lake in the world, was ruled by Misshepezhieu, the Great Lynx. That deity was both benevolent and malicious, fitting qualities for a body of water that can change from tranquil to furious in a moment. Those moods were a fact of life – still are – for anyone who lives in the region.

The Great Lakes are like five beautiful and charismatic sisters: willful, tempestuous, frequently charming, often dangerous, and ultimately unfathomable. As the main trade route to the interior of the continent and surrounded by lands flush with resources, the Great Lakes were central in transforming the U.S. and Canada into industrial and economic giants. Yet the lakes remain among the least appreciated of our major geographic features. No longer am I surprised to meet people who don’t know that the lakes are too vast to see across or that they contain most of the surface freshwater in North America. I am surprised, however, by the people who assume that all that water is there to be ransacked.

Maybe the lakes are too great for their own good. If they were contained entirely within Ontario or Michigan, they would be more ferociously defended. Instead they overlap two nations and eight states, and are constantly snarled in legislative complexities that make them vulnerable. And because they contain such an enormous volume of water — nearly a fifth of all that’s available on the surface of the earth – and are spread across a wide swath of North America many assume that they’re inexhaustible. With that much water, the thinking goes, there should be plenty for everyone.”

Read more: Huffington Post


The Next Big Thing In Industry: Water Profiteering

Executive Director of Food & Water Watch Wenonah Hauter. Photo retrieved from:

“My colleague, Anil Naidoo from the Council of Canadians, and I were invited to the meeting to debate the libertarian economist David Zetland and William Muhairwe, managing director of Uganda’s national water company. Both Zetland and Muhairwe are big proponents of full-cost pricing and dismissive of the government’s role in providing water.

Some may wonder why Anil and I would go there to debate, especially when the audience was comprised of people employed in the water industry. The truth is that there is no better place to really figure out what they are up to. An hour debate was a small price to pay for free entrance to the $2,500.00 event that gave us real insight into the newest plans of the global water cartel.

The conference started on a sour note with a keynote address from Michel Camdessus, former Managing Director of the IMF. Camdessus is one of the masterminds behind the scheme to force the 1.44 billion people who make $1.25 a day to pay for the full cost of water. It was also disappointing that Kofi Annan appears to be running interference for the water corporations, basically saying in his speech that the time for protest is over and that we all need to get along.

One of the most distasteful moments of the conference, which was held in a Five Star hotel in Berlin, was when Sanjay Bhatnagar, CEO of WaterHealth International, took the mic to brag about how his investors were making piles of money selling water in villages in Africa and India. WaterHealth issues smart cards that are used to fill jugs with water—a 21st century “innovation” for redistributing wealth from the poor in the developing world to the “global investors” of the company.”

Read more: Food & Water Watch


Scrutiny of a Farm Town’s Water Divides Residents

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“The day the U.N. lawyer came to Seville, residents — mostly women, mostly mothers — from 17 other San Joaquin Valley communities that lack safe water because of nitrates, pesticides and arsenic came to tell Portugal’s Catarina de Albuquerque their stories. They spend much of their meager incomes on bottled water and receive confusing health warnings.

In the neighboring town of Cutler, Spanish-speaking farm workers received notes in English that their pesticide-laced water is safe to drink, but that long-term consumption could put them at risk of cancer.

Tainted water — especially nitrate contamination— is a part of life in California’s richest agricultural region.

Nitrates in the water

Some 40 years ago, farmers started using nitrogen fertilizer to boost crops. Septic tanks and runoff from dairies also leak nitrates. Now, much of the San Joaquin Valley sits on nitrate-polluted groundwater.

A recent study by Pacific Institute, an Oakland water policy research center, estimated that 1 million Central Valley residents at times have harmful levels of nitrates in their water, and the cost of cleanup would be at least $150 million.

High nitrate levels are linked to blue baby syndrome, which cuts off an infant’s oxygen supply. In adults, nitrates are suspected of contributing to miscarriages, stomach disorders and certain cancers.

There has been no regulation of how much fertilizer farmers can use or how close fertilizers and feed lots can be to wells.”

Read more: Los Angeles Times