Last week I received a rather shocking bit of news from J Carl Ganter. Carl is a childhood friend, fellow Michigander and founder of a super cool organization grappling with the world water crisis called Circle of Blue. What he sent me was a link to his article Energy Drink: New Study Shows Added Costs of Bottled Water. It begins:
As the world launches stimulus plans and energy initiatives, there’s a new way to save, as it turns out, lots of oil: cut back on bottled water.
In the first peer-reviewed study of its kind, researchers at the Pacific Institute found that in 2007 alone bottled water in the U.S. used “the equivalent of between 32 and 54 million barrels of oil–roughly one-third of a percent of total U.S. primary energy consumption.”
The report, just published in the February 2009 issue of Environmental Research Letters and authored by Peter H. Gleick and Heather Cooley, finds that “bottled water is up to 2000 times more energy-intensive than tap water. Similarly, bottled water that requires long-distance transport is far more energy-intensive than bottled water produced and distributed locally.”
Here’s a link to the full report. In the interest of establishing the Michigan bona fides for this post, I should also point out that the water bottles in the picture are from Ice Mountain, which is bottled in Michigan.