• By The Financial District

U.S. Laps Up Bottled Water Extracted From Public Utilities

JP Sottile of Truthout has exposed a tragic truth: Americans are buying bottled water that has been extracted by Nestle, Pepsi, and other companies from municipal water facilities.

Photo Insert: The study suggests Americans are paying for filtered water shorn of minerals at 2,000 times the cost of their tap water.

In his Nov. 14, 2021 expose, Sottile said Americans are thus paying for filtered water shorn of minerals at 2,000 times the cost of their tap water.

A 2018 study by Food & Water Watch found that private companies pull 64 percent of their bottled water from municipal tap water sources. If it is filtered, like Coca-Cola’s Dasani ($1.06 billion in 2020 sales) and Pepsi’s Aquafina ($1.06 billion in 2020 sales), the “process removes beneficial minerals such as calcium and magnesium,” which, Montana State University exercise physiology professor Dan Heil told the Los Angeles Times, “does not support the premise that pure water is healthier or better for the body than tap water with naturally occurring minerals.”

Americans find themselves ever more reliant on often microplastic-tainted, chemical-leaching bottles of water even as the nation struggles to replace a crumbling water infrastructure of up to 12 million lead pipes currently delivering potentially poisonous water to nearly 22 million people.

Sottile said it is not coincidental that Americans conspicuously consumed more and more bottled water during the luxury-branded era of conspicuous consumption, or that this thirst coincided with the coming of the so-called Reagan Revolution and its broad attack on the nature and efficacy of government and government regulation.

All the news: Business man in suit and tie smiling and reading a newspaper near the financial district.

“It was a significant political shift steeped in the neoliberal notion that government regulation was inherently bad, privatization was inherently good and government should always be regarded with suspicion and disdain. It brought with it a disregard for public investments not associated with the military-industrial complex. While companies like Nestlé took advantage of the Reagan-stoked deregulatory wave, crucial infrastructure was left to decay and long-overdue upgrades left off the agenda. Decades of indifference to public investment led to the persistence of lead-tainted water which, in turn, forces citizens to rely on privatized bottled water as the only safe and potable option,” Sottile concluded.

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