I’ve just read Lisa Margonelli’s “Tapped Out,” a review of Bottlemania: How Water Went on Sale and Why We Bought It (by Elizabeth Royte) published June 15, 2008 in the New York Times.
It makes me think of Marc Reisner’s Cadillac Desert: The American West and Its Disappearing Water (which I’d like to read) and Blue Gold: The Fight to Stop the Corporate Theft of the World’s Water by Maude Barlow and Tony Clarke (which I have read); click here to read my entry on these books.
For many years now, I’ve preferred to simply drink filtered tap water in my own reusable bottle — used to be a Nalgene but with all the health problems associated with the old Nalgenes made with Bisphenol A (BPA) I’ve given mine up.
Here’s how Lisa Margonelli concludes her review:
By the time I finished “Bottlemania” I thought twice about drinking any water. Among the risks: arsenic, gasoline additives, 82 different pharmaceuticals, fertilizer runoff sufficient to raise nitrate levels so that Iowa communities issue “blue baby” alerts. And in 42 states, Royte notes, “people drink tap water that contains at least 10 different pollutants on the same day.” The privatization of pristine water is part of a larger story, a tragic failure to steward our shared destiny. And if you think buying water will protect you, Royte points out that it too is loosely regulated. And there is more — the dangers of pipes and of plastic bottles, the hazards of filters, and yes, that “toilet to tap” issue. But there is slim comfort: Royte says we don’t really need to drink eight glasses of water a day. Drink when you’re thirsty, an expert says. That’s refreshing.
I think I will pick up a copy of Bottlemania at my local library, though I may take my time before getting to it.
Reading all these books about the lies of corporate America has been generally depressing.
Click here to read an excerpt.