A $480 Bottle of Water

Bottled water has been around for a long time. The initial stigma attached to buying overpriced bottles of a free product has worn off and now its a regular accessory. But as a Washington Post story explains, both traditional and luxury bottled waters are rarely better than the tap.

"Concentrated water" from Hawaii is currently selling for $33.50 for a two-ounce bottle. The secret of the concentrated desalinated seawater is that it must be mixed with...water. As if that wasn't bizarre enough, a Tennessee water company called BlingH20 is selling a special edition bottle of its water for $480. That is a million times more expensive than tap water.

These are ridiculous examples of a larger trend that shows bottled water companies trying to make their product into a premium good described as substantially better your tap water. Some are even creating terminology like "mouth feel" to attach a wine like experience to drinking their product.

The reality is that in many taste tests, people cannot differentiate between tap water and bottled water. In fact, water from Dasani and Aquafina actually is tap water that has experienced additional filtering and purification just to make the clean water seem cleaner (and more marketable).

There is a perception that water from far away is somehow better than water acquired nearby. Of course this idea means using fuel, packaging and manufacturing to unnecessarily bring a product across the country, or the planet, when it could be easily acquired in your own kitchen. Think of the carbon emitted just to create and ship the petroleum based plastic bottles filled with heavy water.

If you'd like to read the results of a Case Western Reserve University experiment that tested the differences between bottled and tap water, go HERE. To read the full Washington Post story go HERE. To find some earth friendly reusable water bottles go HERE.


  1. Think Outside the Bottle is a campaign working to promote, protect and ensure public funding for our public water systems. That means challenging corporations who undermine public confidence in tap water. Help support these public systems by opting for tap over bottled water. Thousands are taking the pledge, and so can you!

  2. If you're miles from the nearest tap, and someone offers you the choice between a bottle of water and a sweetened, caffeinated soft drink, which would you choose? Get real. Is Diet Coke green just because it doesn't have sugar?

  3. To Anonymous: I'm not really sure what your comment means. I didn't mention Diet Coke in my post and I never suggested that bottled water should be avoided at all costs. I simply suggested that in most common situations its best to choose tap water over bottled to avoid the extra expense and unnecessary waste of gasoline.

    But I appreciate your advice to "Get real."