Saturday, July 26, 2008

Genie out of the bottle

"In 2006, some 8 billion gallons of bottled water were sold in America, and the $11 billion market welcomed 140 new products to the shelves. The year before, the bottled water industry spent $158 million on advertising in the United States alone.

Royte uses the story of a faceoff between the small town of Fryeburg, Maine, and the giant Swiss food conglomerate Nestle, which, as the owner of Poland Spring water, sucked more than 168 million gallons of water out of Fryeburg in 2005 alone, as a prism through which to look at the many issues at stake in these water wars: "Is it right to trade water at all, to move it from its home watershed to other states, or even countries? Should the taxpayers who protect land and water share the profits of those who pump and sell that resource? How is water different from such resources as oil, trees or lobsters?''"
How Water
Went on Sale and
Why We Bought It
By Elizabeth Royte
Bloomsbury, 248 pages,

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