I for one salute Gavin Newsom for refusing to waste government money on bottled water.
I have never bought bottled water. It’s silly to spend good money on bottled water when throughout this country it’s possible to drink clean potable water for free or a tiny fraction of the cost of bottled water – and it’s far more environmentally sound.
Penn and Teller, of all people, covered this issue the best.
They simply show that people can’t differentiate in taste between tap water (excepting Florida’s) and tap water, and can be tricked into spending idiotic amounts of money on, well, water.
The environmental issue here is highly relevant. Petroleum is used to generate the plastic that the water is contained in. Fuel and energy is wasted in the production, transport, and storage of bottled water. And people can’t even tell the difference in taste!
This is what I consider a miserable failure of markets to create efficiency. In fact, bottled water is an example of the exact opposite of an efficient market. Tap water is essentially free for all. People are incapable of distinguishing between tap and bottled (except in Florida), and yet will spend literally hundreds of times more on bottled water based on the false perception of superior taste or health benefit.
Tap water in the U.S. is perfectly potable and safe (true even for Florida). There is no good reason to drink bottled water, and even some health reasons that would suggest that bottled water is a negative – fluoride anyone? Certainly, from an economic and environmental standpoint this is a stupid waste of money. It creates waste and expense for no justifiable benefit to the consumer.
So I salute Gavin Newsom for refusing to spend municipal funds on such an obvious waste of money. This shouldn’t be considered some revolutionary environmental act, or interference with the market. This is the sensible refusal of a municipal government to waste money on a worthless product.