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Bottlemania: How Water Went on Sale and Why…
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Bottlemania: How Water Went on Sale and Why We Bought It (2008)

by Elizabeth Royte

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The author writes in a lively and easy style. She examines the bottled water industry, how it got to be a fashion statement to drink bottled water, and how it became so much more, where many people now consume nothing but bottled water. She visits bottling plants and boreholes where the water is collected. She investigates the political, economic, and social forces behind both the bottled water movement and the anti-bottled water movement. She also investigates the public and private water systems that deliver tap water to Americans to determine if there is any reality to the idea that bottled water is better. The result is an indictment of the way we look at water, the way we deliver water, and the way we consume water. The book brings clarity (as much as possible) to an issue that is much more complicated than the simplistic narratives would have it. A must read. ( )
  quantum_flapdoodle | Jul 14, 2013 |
city water is safe and a necessary item to be supported; bottled water is only necessary if you buy into the ads of the major corporations and there really is nothing green about the carbon footprint of the water-bottling companies ( )
  lindap69 | Apr 5, 2013 |
Royte's in-depth look at water and the water industry is eye-opening and interesting. It also makes me glad to live in an area served by Portland's Bull Run reservoir. Royte leaves us with no answers, just an array of variously weighted choices. The writing is good, the flow a little discursive and meandering. Still, recommended for people interested in water and mega-corporations and pipes and the like. I had no idea that Nestlé owned so many of the bottled water labels. Ick. ( )
  satyridae | Apr 5, 2013 |
I've read Elizabeth Royte's other two books. The first was the Tapir's Morning Bath, which exposes the fact that scientists have no common sense and can't see further than the end of their own noses, but only at the end of a very well-researched book on ecological science on a tropical island. The second was Garbageland, which tracked Royte's garbage from her New York home through every possible recycling treatment the US employs.

Bottlemania is a fascinating expose of what ultimately, globally threatens everyone everywere if it is accepted that people will drink bottled water (which is privately-owned and supported by profits) so its unnecessary for governments to spend money on keeping tap water drinking-water pure for the general public. ( )
  Petra.Xs | Apr 2, 2013 |
Royte's book is fascinating - a global view of drinking water issues set against the backdrop of a tiny Maine town fighting the attentions of a Swiss-based multinational with a reputation for predatory behavior.

Much has happened since Royte's book was published (the paperback version includes an afterword detailing more recent news), but the book remains interesting and deeply informative.

Looking forward to Royte's next work., ( )
  TCWriter | Mar 31, 2013 |
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"With sales having already surpassed those of milk and beer, and second now only to soda, bottled water is on the verge of becoming the most popular beverage in the country. Only now, with the bottled water industry trading in billions of dollars, have we begun to question the environmental and social fall out of what we're drinking." "Elizabeth Royte finds the people, machines, economies, and cultural trends that bring bottled water from nature to our supermarkets. As she visits filtration plants and natural springs, Royte lays out the issues that surround the seemingly simple matter of what we ought to drink: Who owns the water that flows underground, and is it right for corporations to profit from it? How do the manufacture, transportation, and disposal of plastic water bottles affect the environment? Is the stuff coming from our taps okay to drink? If not, what can we do to make our water safe and tasty? And while everyone acknowledges that we must protect public water supplies from pollution, what should we do about privatization?"--BOOK JACKET.… (more)

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