I saw a copy of Elizabeth Royte’s new book “Bottlemania: How Water Went on Sale and Why We Bought It” last night at the Strand. It reminded me of when I first became more aware of the water bottling process through reading an article that E Magazine published in 2003. I quoted a fact from that article for years, that Dasani sources some of its water from taps in Queens, NY. Dropping that fact always elicited the best facial expressions from people.
From the New York Times review, Royte’s updated take on bottled water is a comprehensive look at how it is sourced and marketed, and even become a status symbol. While she doesn’t profile several brands in the book, I don’t believe she needs to. I’d bet that many people could easily name five brands off the top of their heads. I can even think of some that couldn’t have more different messaging from Trump Ice to Aquamantra (I received their Love water in a gift bag at an event once, and for some reason, I didn’t drink it for weeks, there the pretty bottle just sat in my kitchen, perhaps waiting for a day where I needed more Love?).
Royte’s focus on the environmental affects of groundwater pumping, privatization of water, and the battles that ensue between local communities and large corporations is rather what I’m looking forward to reading more about. Also worldwide considerations. I have been using a Brita filter for years, wondering if worrisome contaminants like antibiotics are still present. The book also takes a look at the many people worldwide that lack access to safe drinking water (Check out LifeStraw to see how we’re making some progress here). A good reminder that my anxieties are rather small in comparison.