Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Bottled Water: Liquid Gold

BBC: Bottled water has become liquid gold: In the last 40 years the bottled water industry has gone from a business prospect that few took seriously, to a global industry worth billions of pounds. .... bottled water has become one of the biggest success stories in the modern food and beverage industry..... demand for bottle water has grown exponentially ..... "I think bottled water actually represents a kind of caricature of… the global economy.... "It provides people in the developed world with 20 or 30 varieties of something for which there is no actual variety." ... The Eau campaign was a marketing coup and sales went through the roof from 12 million bottles in 1980 to 152 million by the end of the decade. ...... "When you held a Perrier bottle up, it said something about yourself, it said you were sophisticated, you… understood what was happening in the world. ...... In an age of instant gratification, still water in portable bottles provided what people needed, exactly when they needed it. .... Strong, shatterproof and a highly valued form of polyester, PET is a by-product of the oil industry. ..... "Evian was sold as a beautiful person's drink" ..... Between 1990 and the turn of the century, global sales of Evian doubled from 50 billion to more than 100 billion litres a year. ..... a world where nearly a billion people have no access to clean water at all. ..... what bottled water is actually made of, oil and water; the world's two most precious resources, in one neat package.

If you can get a bottle of water for a buck, and a bottle of soda for a buck fifty, and the water is good for you, and the soda is bad for your health, then the water is a bargain, right? A lot of people don't think so.

The part that is confounding to me is when they bottle up the water in, say, France, and ship it across the Atlantic. Is there no water to be bottled upstate?

I do feel people overpay for the bottled water. And I think the bottle needs to be recycled. But the concept of water being there when you need it, that is a powerful concept.

Tap water is great too.

And water happens to be my favorite substance. There is something about its formlessness that reminds me of the human mind at its best.

Next stop: fresh fruits and vegetables. Personally I have a thing for steamed broccoli.

How about 50 cents for that bottle of water? Let the competition begin. I also feel like I pay too much for broadband. I want double the speed for half the price. Any entrepreneurs out there?

No More Beer, No More Soda

A Water Story

This photo above is of a water pump. This is how we got our water in my homevillage in Nepal. Our water pump looked similar. Not every family had one. Actually very few did back then. So I guess it was a status symbol that my family did.

The way you set up these pumps was you pushed down the metal tube one at a time, every time you pushed one, you added another to it and pushed it down. There was an elaborate mechanism. You went down until you hit water.

I heard this story as a child. One day people were having a particularly hard time finding the seam of water. They kept pushing down metal pipe after metal pipe. Finally instead of water, blood came out, a little blood. And they figured they had hit somebody's head in America by mistake.

I believed the story.

How My Grandfather Became Mayor The First Time

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