Essential Truths About Water

(I'm ripping off bits from Fast Company's article on bottled water. The full article is well worth reading, as it goes into more detail and also provides information on the history and business of bottled water. My original interest was just in water quality, but the magazine arrived at the same time, so...)

For Picture This #7.


- One out of six people in the world has no dependable, safe drinking water.


- And in Fiji, a state-of-the-art factory spins out more than a million bottles a day of the hippest bottled water on the U.S. market today, while more than half the people in Fiji do not have safe, reliable drinking water. Which means it is easier for the typical American in Beverly Hills or Baltimore to get a drink of safe, pure, refreshing Fiji water than it is for most people in Fiji.


- In San Francisco, the municipal water comes from inside Yosemite National Park. It's so good the EPA doesn't require San Francisco to filter it. If you bought and drank a bottle of Evian, you could refill that bottle once a day for 10 years, 5 months, and 21 days with San Francisco tap water before that water would cost $1.35. Put another way, if the water we use at home cost what even cheap bottled water costs, our monthly water bills would run $9,000.


- We're moving 1 billion bottles of water around a week in ships, trains, and trucks in the United States alone. That's a weekly convoy equivalent to 37,800 18-wheelers delivering water. (Water weighs 81/3 pounds a gallon. It's so heavy you can't fill an 18-wheeler with bottled water--you have to leave empty space.)


- The Fiji Water plant is a state-of-the-art facility that runs 24 hours a day. That means it requires an uninterrupted supply of electricity--something the local utility structure cannot support. So the factory supplies its own electricity, with three big generators running on diesel fuel. The water may come from "one of the last pristine ecosystems on earth," as some of the labels say, but out back of the bottling plant is a less pristine ecosystem veiled with a diesel haze.


- Americans went through about 50 billion plastic water bottles last year, 167 for each person. Durable, lightweight containers manufactured just to be discarded. Water bottles are made of totally recyclable polyethylene terephthalate (PET) plastic, so we share responsibility for their impact: Our recycling rate for PET is only 23%, which means we pitch into landfills 38 billion water bottles a year--more than $1 billion worth of plastic.

  • P I S A N K I 7y

    Oi! Sou administrador de um grupo chamado Poluição/Pollution e nós adoraríamos ter isto adicionado ao grupo!
  • Lucy Lambriex 7y

    This is such a powerful image that really made me flinch. Thanks for the text as well. It is confrontational to know the facts.

    Found in a search. (?)
  • brian Ó Murchadha 7y

    hey friend, can i use this fabulous image for a non profit newsletter?
  • Ania 7y

    This truly is interesting, thanks :)
  • Ella.1839 7y

  • "Magnus" 6y

    In Fiji, the houses are built with rain gutters to catch their drinking water. It rains just about every day there and the water that sifts through the bedrock is pristine. Americans may think this is gross, but it's natural and probably more healthy to drink than the water that is contained in plastic bottles.
  • Pristine*Belle 6y

    Wow! What a golden presentation about H2O

    and wow again@ 's comment.
  • NHorton 6y

    slightly disturbing thinking about where it comes from - but a good picture
  • BellaGaia 6y

    I stopped buying bottled water a couple of years ago - I use a PUR filter on my tap -- it does taste better than the straight tap water we have in my area and keeps out the pebbles -- but I'm so grateful that we have clean drinking water. Love this photo and your information. thanks for posting it.
  • onetalentdog 6y

    Hi, I'm an admin for a group called sad world, and we'd love to have this added to the group!
  • Felix.Egger 6y

    amasing shot i like the colours and everithing!
  • shikee 6y

    Meaningful shot, nice article. Thanks~
  • 6y


    thats a great picture.

    may I use it for my blog?

    Would be perfectly fitting to my post about saving water.

    Looking forward to hearing from you.

    Best regards from Bonn/Germany

  • kiwikitto 5y

    That is awesome! Well done. I have shown many people this great photo/article!!! You ROCK!
  • moneymaker57 5y

    you think water is good now, hope there not drilling for gas in your area watch on HBO "gasland" and watch what else your goverment is destoying beside your gulf coast, where going to run out of fresh good water so big oil/gas companys can make money
  • LazyAbbie 5y

    this is amazing and meaningful and a great way of pushing a message through
  • Moritz Sirowatka 5y

    Very very nice! Thank you for this great picture!
  • Steel Eagle 5y

    Stunning. It's a pity that you don't allow to download it. I would like to share it in a Facebook page about water scarcity.
  • liehei 4y

    Love the picture. Like to use it in a presentation about clean water, if that's ok.
    Thank you in advance.
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Taken on July 9, 2007
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