Tag Archives: drought

Research Exposes $16 Billion Bottled Water Industry’s Predatory Marketing

The industry spends billions of dollars per year convincing Americans that bottled water is safer than tap—even though more than two-thirds of the product comes from municipal water sources

By Julia Conley, staff writer for CommonDreams. Published 2-20-2018

Americans spend about $16 billion per year on bottled water—which comes largely from the same sources as tap water. (Photo: Raul Pachecho-Vega/Flickr/cc)

Bottled water companies have relied on predatory marketing practices and exorbitant lobbying efforts to sell Americans on the inaccurate belief that pre-packaged water is cleaner and safer than tap water—a notion that is costing U.S. households about $16 billion per year.

In a new report entitled “Take Back the Tap,” Food & Water Watch explains that 64 percent of bottled water comes from municipal tap water sources—meaning that Americans are often unknowingly paying for water that would otherwise be free or nearly free. Continue reading

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California’s drought: the canary in the coalmine?

There is no place on earth that can be safe, secure or healthy in a world that is running out of water.

Written by Maude Barlow. Published 6-30-15 in OpenDemocracy.

Photo by National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration) [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

Photo by National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration) [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

On April 1, 2015, California Governor Jerry Brown ordered officials to impose mandatory water restrictions in his drought stricken state for the first time in history. The news was carried around the world.  “Climate change” was named as the culprit— and it is.

Glaciers are melting in the arctic and drastically-reduced snowfall in the Sierra Nevada Mountains has lowered the amount of run-off that the state depends on for water renewal. But there’s another side to this story and it’s this: human abuse and mismanagement of water is actually a cause of climate change, and that needs to be placed at the center of our thinking about environmental destruction and regeneration.

In this sense, California is the ‘canary in the coalmine’ of a growing water crisis, and what’s happening there shows why all of us must transform our thinking, action, and relationships to this most precious of resources.

For decades, there has been massive engineering of the state’s water supplies through pipelines, canals and aqueducts in order to supply a small number of powerful farmers in California’s Central Valley. Eighty percent of all water in California goes to agriculture, much of it to grow water-intensive crops for export. Alfalfa hay, for example, which is mostly exported to Japan, uses 15 per cent of the state’s water. Almonds (80 per cent of the world’s production) use another 10 per cent. Continue reading

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