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Special Focus: Bottled Water

For the most part in this country and many others, bottle water is an unnecessary commodity that is harming our existing water systems, our environment and our local economies and is no cleaner or safer than tap water. Below are links and resources on this much debated subject. Please send links or comments to David Coale at

Last update 8-18-08.


How Much Oil is in Your Water?

Oil in Water photo

The photo above shows the amount of oil required to ship/truck water to the Bay Area for each water bottle pictured.

Bottled water from many worldly places is now available in your local store. Ever thought how that water gets to the store? Ever thought about how much oil it takes to ship water from France or New Zealand? If we are to move towards a more sustainable society these are some of the questions we should be asking. With the world oil supply predicted to peak in the next decade, we can hardly afford to buy designer water when we have safe potable water in every house. As oil becomes more and more expensive and harder to get, this will affect many items we purchase today and most of us don't think about how all this stuff gets to us. Best bets, buy local whenever possible and ask yourself how much oil is in this water/food/furniture/clothing/electronics I am buying?

Text and photo by David Coale Acterra 2007

Here is another way to look at Bottled Water:

Cost of Bottled Water

Note: tap water in this area (Palo Alto, CA) is actually $0.006 per gallon which is about 850 times less than the average bottled water shown abave.

Links to more info on bottled water

Listed below are several links to more information about bottled water.

Sierra Club on Bottled Water There is lots of good information and links including short videos about the corporate privation of water resources. There is also PDF flier about bottled water facts that is very good.

NRDC also has lots of good info on bottled water, its sources and water quality.

An archeologist view of bottle water This is a great short video looking back at bottled water and trying to make sense of what was happening, as it really does not make any sense at all.

Water in California KQED's Qust looks at water in the golden state. Do we have enough water to support California's growing popultion, the farms that feed the nation and the endangered fish and wildlife in our region? 25 minute video, best viewed with a high speed connection.

Flow Irena Salina's award-winning documentary investigation into what experts label the most important political and environmental issue of the 21st Century - The World Water Crisis. Make sure to view the film trailer.

For more local resources on water conservation in the Bay Area, please see the Water link below.


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