Liter for liter, bottled water costs hundreds of times as much as the stuff that gushes from the tap, but otherwise it isn’t so different—except that it’s subject to a good deal less monitoring, says Peter Gleick, author of Bottled and Sold. In fact, between 25 and 45 percent of the bottled water sold in the United States originates as tap water. Here are some other ways your bottled water is different.
1. Actually tap water
These bottled waters are drawn from the tap. In some cases, bottlers add minerals and filter or distill the water.
- Alaska Premium Glacier
- Glacéau Smartwater
- Nestlé Pure Life
2. Sugar water
- Vitaminwater: 125 calories, 33 grams of sugar per 20-ounce bottle. (In response to a lawsuit, lawyers for Coca-Cola said, “No consumer could reasonably be misled into thinking that Vitaminwater was a healthy beverage.”)
- O.N.E. Coconut Water: 60 calories, 14 grams of sugar per 11.2-ounce container.
- SoBe LifeWater (antioxidant flavors): 100 calories, 24 grams of sugarper 20-ounce bottle.
3. Financially demanding (but shipping is free)
- Bling Water: “The Ten Thousand” is a 750-milliliter bottle of water that sells for $2,600. The bottle has more than 10,000 hand-applied Swarovski crystals.
- Acqua di Cristallo Tributo a Modigliani: A 1,250-milliliter gold-plated bottle of water costs $3,600.
4. Geographically challenged
From natural springs? Maybe. But Gleick points out that the springs aren’t where you’d think.
- Arctic Clear (source of water: Tennessee)
- Arctic Falls Bottled (New Jersey)
- Arctic Springs (California)
- Arctic Wolf Spring (New Jersey)
- Glacier Mountain Natural Spring (New Jersey)
- Glacier Mountain Bottled (Ohio)
- Everest (Texas)
5. Ecologically challenging
- Fiji: bottled and shipped from Viti Levu, Fiji (7,800 miles to New York City)
- Voss: bottled in Southern Norway
- Perrier: bottled in Vergèze, France
- Evian: bottled in the Rhône-Alpes region of southeastern France
- Antipodes: bottled in Whakatane, New Zealand
6. Intellectually bewildering
- H2Om: “While you drink
in the delicious spring water, you are living in the ‘now,’ and you are naturally in a grateful state of being.”
- Holy Drinking
Water: “If you are a sinner or evil in nature, this product may cause burning, intense heat, sweating, skin irritation, rashes, itchiness, vomiting, bloodshot and watery eyes, pale skin color, and oral irritations.”