In fact, it still is — at least in nations blessed with plentiful clean tap water but that doesn’t stop the world from spending over $100 billion on bottled water a year.
I have posted on the subject of Fresh water as recently as the 31st of March this year. ( Fresh Water, Essential for human survival or a commodity for profit)
We all know that our Earth has and will continue to face many problems, some caused by nature itself and others caused by us its most intelligent inhabitants.
The problems caused by us are mostly related to excess of self-indulgence to the detriment of what effect it has on everything around us.
We seem incapable of acting for the common good, and when we try to do so our attempts are retrograded to profit. ( For example; Carbon Credits, Fishing Quotas, Arms Trade, Governments, Religions, you name it and its governed by money.)
We ourselves are now becoming commodity to be exploited and it will not be long before we will have no rights to clean Air never mind water.
Water is more than a chemical substance containing one oxygen and two hydrogen atoms it has become a reason for conflicts and a controversial commodity, and yet, it is inevitable for every human being and animal on the planet.
The global inequalities in access to clean water is only going to increase due to its Privatization. It is literally being turned into a commodity to produce profit.
So what do we see when it comes to Fresh Water.
It is purified and then sold to us at thousandfold increase in price:
As still water, carbonated water, functional water, and flavored water, as absolute water” and “harmony water” as mineral water, pure water, the ecological water, soda water, alkaline water, coconut water, deep-sea water, mint water, tonic water, sparkling waters, naturally sparkling, still waters,natural water, distilled water, wild water, absolute water, preserved water, controlled water, etc;
The category of “wild water” includes products like Pepsi-owned Enchant’s marketed so as to convey through its label, strength, vitality, and human’s fusion with nature.
Absolute water is in a league of its own, and uses neither nature-themed nor industry-themed signs. The designs of the bottles are revolutionary and futuristic. Their beyond-nature and beyond-human appearance suggest that this water is extremely pure and transcendent.
Then we have preserved water, marketed as nature to contemplate, a source of peace and quietness, a preserved nature, untouched.
And last but not least controlled waters which are totally safe and clean called still water. It sales makes up 64.9% of the overall market.
Oops I nearly forgot tamed water. It is adapted for consumer benefit. Nestlé’s Pure Life, for instance, uses more dynamic shapes and human figures to demonstrate its tamed water’s message of happiness, liveliness, and cooperation.
In terms of revenue, Asia-Pacific dominated the global market in 2013, accounting for a market share of 33%. Europe surfaced as the second largest contributor in the global market for bottled water, accounting for a market share of 28.8%.
The bottled water world industry is a market dominated by European water brands.
Shifting patterns of consumer preference in favor of flavored and vitamin-rich functional water and innovation in terms of portability and packaging of hygienic water has propelled the demand for bottled water in the global market to highs where the producers are buying up resources at an alarming rate.
You might be surprised to learn that 25% of bottled water comes from municipal supply.
While the world’s population continues to grow at an alarming rate, water is becoming an increasingly scarce commodity. 80% of the world’s population are exposed to some risk of insecure freshwater resources.
The global water market is dominated by major players like Groupe Danone, Coca- Cola Company, Icelandic Water Holdings ehf., Mountain Valley Spring Company, The PepsiCo Inc., Nestle Waters, Hangzhou Wahaha Group Co. Ltd., and LLC.
Nestlé currently controls more than 70 of the world’s bottled water brands, among them Perrier, San Pellegrino and Vittel.
Nestlé’s annual sales of bottled water alone total some CHF 10 billion. And yet the company prefers not to discuss its water business.
To be able to sell and make money from water, you first have to own it.
Every year the company pumps out millions of cubic metres of water, for transportation in road tankers to huge bottling factories.
In the small towns of Fryeburg, Newfield and Shapleigh, journalist Res Gehriger witnessed how Nestlé tries to stifle and suppress local opposition to its operations with an army of powerful PR consultants, lawyers and lobbyists.
The company sells mainly spring water with a designation of origin. In developing countries, however, the corporation pursues another concept – namely Nestlé Pure Life. This product is purified groundwater, enriched with a Nestlé mixture of minerals. Nestlé Pure Life is a clever business concept. And particularly so in the developing world.
In countries such as Pakistan where the public water supply has failed or is close to collapse, the company proudly presents its bottled water as a safe health-enhancing alternative. But for the overwhelming majority of consumers, it is an expensive out-of-reach alternative.
The scenario of a city in which everyone has to pay for life-giving water, is already a sad reality in Lagos. Families eking out an existence in the slums spend half their meagre budget on canisters of water. The upper class? They purchase Nestlé Pure Life.
Nestlé is a company intent on amassing resource rights worldwide. With the aim of dominating the global water market of the future.
The global bottled water market was valued at US$157.27 billion in 2013 and is expected to reach US$279.65 billion by the end of 2020, registering an impressive growth at a CAGR of 8.7% from 2013 to 2020.
In terms of volume the market is expected to grow at a CAGR of 8.3% and reach a market size of 465.12 billion liters by 2020. Over half of all Americans 54% drink bottled water. There are over 700 brands. America is now drinking more bottled water than milk or beer.
According to the Beverage Marketing Corporation (BMC), in 2014 the total volume of bottled water consumed in the United States was 11 billion gallons, a 7.4% increase from 2013. That translates into an average of 34 gallons per person. While that may sound like a lot, it actually puts the U.S. in 10th place when it comes to global per-capita consumption
Bottled water is the second largest commercial beverage category by volume in the United States. However, bottled water consumption is about half that of carbonated soft drinks and only slightly ahead of milk and beer.
60% of the global bottled water market is dominated by the national and regional players.
The commercialization of water, which on a global scale finds its manifestation in the bottled water industry:
Global consumption of bottled water goes up 10 percent each year.
China is now the second largest consumer market for bottled water in the world. China drank roughly eight billion liters in 2000, and just under 21 billion liters in 2009. It is now drinking around two billion liter less than U.S. 2014.
|China Water (1.5 liter bottle)||Cost 3.66 ¥||us$ 0.56|
France-based Evian is the most popular bottled water brand in the world. Pepsi-owned Aquafina is the best-selling bottled water brand in United States. Both have mountains on their packages, signifying the pursuit of something greater.
You don’t have to be a genius to see where all this is leading.
Water insecurity is a global phenomenon, and in most of the populated places on earth water resources are under some form of stress that poses a potential risk.
“The biggest enemy is tap water ” said a Pepsi VP in 2000. “When we’re done, tap water will be relegated to irrigation and washing dishes,” said Susan D. Wellington of Quaker Oats, the maker of Gatorade.
But its more than just words: Coca-Cola has been in the business of discouraging restaurants from serving tap water and pushing bottle water for years.
Fear of tap water is part of the reason for the bottled water surge.
The production of water bottles uses 17 million barrels of oil a year, and it takes three times the water to make the bottle as it does to fill it.
For a product that claims to be environmentally responsible the bottled water industry does more than its fair share of planet trashing.
The amount of oil used to make a year’s worth of bottles could fill one million cars for a year. It takes about 72 billion gallons of water a year just to make the empty bottles. Another words it takes about two liters of water to make every liter you see on shelves of supermarkets and the like.
What do we get in return:
Out of all the plastic bottles that pollute our seas, our oceans, that are tossed out the windows of our cars, left to roll up on to our beaches fewer than 20% are recycled to a second life. To put this in perspective the California Department of Conservation estimated that roughly three million water bottles are trashed every day. The bottle that takes three minutes to drink takes up to a thousand years to biodegrade.
Pepsi Co claims to have diverted 196 million beverage containers to recycling using its own resources since it made its initial commitment in 2010, yet this represents only about one-third of one day’s sales of beverages in the United States.
More than 40 countries worldwide, including most European Union nations, have adopted some form of EPR (extended producer responsibility) mandate that shifts some or all financial responsibility for packaging recycling from taxpayers to producer brands.
Brands that place packaging into commerce need to take more responsibility for its life cycle impact.
Recycling produces so many benefits to society that it should be a priority for corporate sustainability programs.
The biggest threat to increasing recyclability in the beverage sector is the growing use of flexible packaging….Using nonrecyclable packaging when recyclable alternatives are available wastes enormous amounts of resources, in contrast to aluminum and PET, which can be recycled many times over.
According to Doug James, a professor of computer science and computer graphics at Cornell University and a recycling advocate, we are left with 25 billion bottles world-wide that are dumped in landfills, littered or incinerated.
Essentially, there is no way for bottled water to be as environmentally responsible as tap water.
Many regions of the world lack access to clean drinking water, and bottled water is the only safe alternative. Companies know this and have been cleaning up in countries like China, Pakistan and India in recent years.
The 2011 global forecast for bottled water called for over $86 billion in profits. This includes sparkling flavored water, sparkling unflavored water, still flavored water and still unflavored water. A very impressive number considering a similar product comes basically free from the kitchen sink.
The global water market could be worth $800 billion by 2035, with Asia making up half that value as rapid economic growth and a rising population boosts demand, the president and chief executive of Finnish chemicals firm Kemira said.
“Water is the fastest growing market at the moment, with a size of $500 billion globally,” Harri Kerminen said in an interview in London.
Some experts foresee the water market hitting $1 trillion by as early as 2020.
So don’t be a Wally get your self a reusable stainless steel canteen.
It will pay for its self, stop you picking up some horrendous disease, and save on large dental bill if you leave the fluoride in. (Put it uncovered in the fridge for 24 hours and any chlorine will dissipate.)
The alternative is to carry on drinking bottled water which I am sure is subject to the same safety regulations as Tap water which covers all washing machine tablets, all washing up liqet, all shampoos, all industrial run off, all farming fertilizers run off, all lead piping, all landfill toxins, toilet cleaners, all fracking ( 7.5 trillion gallons of water mixed with dangerous chemicals a year in the US) all brown water shower/bath. We know that pollution is a human problem because it is a relatively recent development in the planet’s history:
According to the environmental campaign organization WWF: “Pollution from toxic chemicals threatens life on this planet. Every ocean and every continent, from the tropics to the once-pristine polar regions, is contaminated.”
There is no easy way to solve water pollution; if there were, it wouldn’t be so much of a problem. There are three different things that can help to tackle the problem- education, laws, and economics.
Why am I bothered or for that matter why should any of us be bothered that water is being turned into profit.
Perhaps we are focused too much on reducing carbon emissions and have failed to take a sufficiently broad view including end-of-life fate and impact.
Materials that are “designed for the dump” reinforce a message to consumers that it’s okay to continue to throw away materials that could have been made to be recycled.
The very least we can do is work to protect and preserve earth. It’s not all about making massive profit.
The time for global action” to protect the integrity of our planetary home is now to develop a new set of guiding global goals. We must embrace a culture of shared responsibility, one of all actors–governments, international institutions, private sector actors, and organizations of civil societies, and in all countries, to the people themselves.
We must remove this responsibility from the United Nations and create a new world Organisation.
What kind of new worldwide organisation could be established that would truly defend humankind’s common resources and limit the major powers?
The UN’s imperfections were manifest from its creation. It was built upon some obvious contradictions.
The UN was premised on the idea that the gravest threat to mankind was cross-border aggression, the main cause of the second world war: history later showed that the gravest threats came from states abusing citizens within their borders, or from terrorists who disregarded borders. Instead of strengthening collective structures to perform essential humanitarian and peacekeeping tasks, rich countries have decided to go it alone or stay home. The strings that member states attach to payment of their UN dues are even more demoralising.
If we want a healthy earth we need an organisation that represents Earth irrelevant of religion or power. That is Self financing, that rewards good practice and applies penalties for not. That is not governed by the might of Capitalism. ( See Previous Posts)
Mark my words if we don’t soon start seen our world as we there will be no Freshwater worth drinking.
Nobody is winning right now on this thing. We’re not moving the needle.
Life is ultimately about choices—and so is pollution.