Could one consumer good cause so many problems with our water? The answer is yes, this one good is bottled water. Bottled water is bad for not only watersheds around the globe, but for animals and humans. Bottling plants draw up to two million gallons per minute from lakes or rivers in some places. Some of these plants bottle on rivers which drops water levels low enough to kill fish and other species. Bottled water isn’t a healthy choice for anyone. Buying bottled water is contributing to our water crisis. Bottled water flows with many issues. The most important issue is the health impact not only for humans, but for watersheds. Bottled water companies pump 75 gallons per minute in some places (Hopey). Bottling companies take water from different areas that sometimes need the water for municipal uses. For example in the small town, Bakersville, the bottling company in Somerset County wants to come in and bottle up the water from Laurel Hill Creek that supports it. By bottling the water in this small river, the water levels are dropping, which is causing fish and other species to die off (Hopey). In this small river there is a fish hatchery, which breeds a breed of salmon that is close to being an endangered species. By drawing too much water, the fish in this hatchery won’t survive and all the efforts will be lost. In addition the water is being consumed faster than the regions near the bodies of water can replenish the water tables. Examples where this is being seen is in the Great Lakes are and Texas. Farmers and Fishermen are directly affected by these drops.(Arnold) Also by shipping the water off, the water is not returning to its original watershed and doesn’t replenish its original watershed. This can cause drought and lakes and rivers begin to run dry. Bottled water is being purchased on a larger scale all over the United States. In 2007, every five minutes citizens used $11.7 million and 2 million bottles. In that whole year alone 8.8 billion plastic water bottles were used. With numbers this large and climbing, it’s understandable that companies like Nestle wants to bottle from Lake Michigan. Several small towns in Michigan see how big of an issue this could turn into. Nestle is currently pumping 200 million gallons a minute to be bottled. Many cities are trying “think outside the bottle,” campaigns to keep the water within the watershed. They want to promote protection of the ground water and surface water. Cities see the issues with pulling water from their resources and shipping it off to other parts of the country. (Gibney) Some of these issues include: water tables dropping, water levels decreasing, and drought. Sometimes mud flats are created which can turn in to sever drought land area. Another issue with bottled water is fossil fuel usage. The oil that is used for the production of the plastic for the bottle is tremendous. To make enough bottles for the demand in the United States, it requires more than 17 million barrels of oil annually. (Arnold) That amount is enough to fuel 1 million cars in America for a year. (Arnold) In addition to that, When these bottles are produced they release toxic gases which contaminate the air and in the water. This problem continues when they aren’t properly disposed of. The Container Recycling Institute says that 86% of the bottles used in America become litter or in landfills. Bottled water can take over 1000 years to biodegrade if in a landfill. (Arnold) Another issue is incineration. When bottles are incinerated they release even more toxic gases into our atmosphere. Bottled water has also been the source of many unseen health problems. Bottled water has been linked to cancers because of the plastic bottles slowly breaking down. The plastic bottles have also been linked to many other health related issues. Some of these other health issues include: hormone disruption, immune deficiencies, obesity, miscarriage and lowered...
Cited: Institute. February 2, 2006. < http://www.erth-policy.org/plan_b_updates/2006/updates51>
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