Take back the tap

by Michael Smith (Veshengro)

Take back the tap: Let's put and end to the big business fraud of bottled water

Take back the tapCorporations like Nestlé are wasting your money, and not just Nestlé. All bottled water is a scam and to a great extent the water actually comes from the same source that you have in the kitchen, the faucet, the tap. At times it may have been filtered to remove chlorine and the taste of it but it is still nothing but tap water and you pay hundreds of times as much for a bottle than you would if you fill up your own at home.

Industry marketing from corporations like Nestlé, and others, means that more people are buying bottled water than ever – even though about 64 percent of the bottled water comes from municipal water systems. That means that people buying bottled water are paying much, much more than they would for that same water from the tap. Bottled water is literally more expensive than gasoline – and about 2,000 times more expensive than tap water.

Bottled water companies profit from misleading advertising. People and the environment lose and this advertisement targets people of color, women, mothers, children and lower-income groups.

Industry marketing strategies designed to promote the safety of bottled water to people who historically lack access to safe tap water (especially recent immigrants) prey upon those who may mistrust tap water and communities concerned about obesity and sugary beverages.

The truth, however, is that tap water, generally, is more rigorously tested for safety than is any kind of bottled water and many of the bottled water that is marketed as “spring water” actually sprung forth from the same source as the water in your kitchen, namely the tap.

While it has to be said that in some areas in the USA, one of the richest countries in the world, the municipal water is not very good (and also not very safe when one considers some areas) but in general tap water is safe and a great deal cheaper – and safer – than bottled water.

The abstraction of water for bottling, often from municipal sources, prior to going into the general consumer stream, put a great strain on often already overstretched water resources and in some places, where the abstraction happens from aquifers, it puts water for people, animals and crops at risk but still Nestlé even is permitted to abstract water in times of drought in places such as California. They would otherwise sue the state for damages. Industry comes always first in capitalism.

Companies such as Nestlé also greatly benefit from public disinvestment in water infrastructure, as the chairman of Nestlé Waters stated in 2009: “We believe tap infrastructure in the US will continue to decline. People will turn to filtration and bottled water for pure water needs.” Well, that is definitely what they hope, aided and abetted by the senators and other politicians that they have paid off.

According to the CEO of Nestlé in a statement some years ago water is not and should not be a human right but should be for the corporations to make profits from. That is how callous those capitalists are. Every bit of Nature and human need is there only for their exploitation and profit.

On the water from we can fight them by refusing to fall for their tricks and filling up our own reusable water bottles at home – and at refilling stations, where they exist, and more and more are coming “on stream” – and thus not giving them our hard-earned money and making them rich.

Then we must demand from the powers-that-be in our countries, powers that often better would not be – that water infrastructure, including waste water, as much as other utilities, are taken (back) into public ownership and if that means outright expropriation. Vital utilities and services such as water, energy, health, transportation, and many more, should never be in the hands of private business, but in the hands of the people as a whole, either as co-operatives or in the hands of the state.

© 2018