Monday morning, there was an interesting little piece on NPR about the City of New York's recent ad campaign touting the wonders of our municipal water supply. I have indeed seen these advertisements about town. For those of you far from the Big Apple (as well as those of you within it who may not be in the know), New York's water is among the best public water supplies in the world. Our water comes from the Catskill mountains, and, as long as strong environmental protection policies hold sway in the state, our water should remain pure and clean.
Why, then, the ad campaign?Well, many people don't know how good this water is. Many people are afraid to drink the tap water and believe they're better off buying bottled water.
And, as you can imagine, the bottled water companies are not happy about the city's campaign.
I'm deeply troubled by the increased commodification of something that is a common good and a public right. New York's water is just fine. If you distrust the pipes, or still have concerns, by a filter. Don't waste your hard-earned money on bottled water that in most cases is no different from the water from the faucet.
If you live in an area where the quality of the water is either seriously compromised or on the verge of being compromised, don't just concede and buy your water in one of those polluting, energy intensive, wasteful plastic bottles (although you might have to in the short term), but speak out LOUDLY to the powers that be and demand clean and safe water now!
Tom Regan on NPR's News blog has more to say about the bottled water racket here. I'm just surprised that he only now realized that Dasani and Aquafina are nothing but filtered tap water. Caveat emptor, I always say.