: New: Book Report: Bottlemania

It's a book about bottled water and tap water in the USA. The summary, you already knew: bottled water isn't just bad for the environment, it's stupidly bad for the environment... if you live in San Francisco, or other places with good tap water. Why burn up resources bottling water when tap water is perfectly good? But not everyone lives in a place with good tap water, it's not always so simple; this book gets into the details, and the details get interesting.

It's all very easy for a smug San Franciscan to say "bottled water is dumb, drink tap!" But what if you live someplace where rocket fuel byproducts have leached into the underground water wells? What then, smug San Franciscans? It might actually be cheaper to drink bottled water than to try to clean up the rocket-fuel-tainted water.

Might Nestle pull so much water out of the ground of one town in Maine such that the local lakes are drying up? Maybe. It's hard to tell, actually. Apparently, our scientists don't have magical, uhm, petro-hydro-scopes that can look through rock and figure out if falling lake levels over here are the direct effect of someone pumping tons of water out of the ground over there. But there's a town in Maine that's pretty angry with Nestle for trucking out a bunch of their water, paying cheap local water rates, and maybe ruining the local riparian whatsit.

But it's even more complicated than that. This book explores politics, New York's water supply, stuff found in water, testing water for stuff, filtering... There's a lot to know. It's enough to make you glad you live in San Francisco (or several other places) and can just drink from the tap without thinking too hard about it. Bottled water might be stupidly bad for the environment, but it would take someone smarter than me to figure it all out.

Tags: book like tears in rain

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