Bottled water: The new cigarette

Is bottled water the new cigarette?

Beginning January 2011, it will be illegal to sell bottled water in Concord, Mass. Although the city council has admitted it probably doesn’t have the power to ban a legal consumer product, it’s doing it anyway, just begging the International Bottled Water Association to sue.

And Concord isn’t alone.

Last year, a small town in Australia banned the sale of bottled water. Earlier that same day, the state of New South Wales banned all state departments and agencies from purchasing bottled water, calling it a waste of money and natural resources.

Today, more than 60 American cities have banned the expenditure of tax dollars on bottled water. Dozens more in Canada and Europe have done the same.

Los Angeles was the first city to introduce such a ban—way back in 1987. No Colorado municipality has so far taken such a step.

People in Chaffee county, though, are beginning to look at bottled water in a new light, given that Nestle will soon be carting away millions of gallons of Arkansas river water to sell as a delicious consumer product.

Laura Donavan has put together a related visual illustration.

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Scot Kersgaard has been managing editor of a political newspaper, editor and co-owner of a ski town newspaper, executive editor of eight high-tech magazines (where he worked with current Apple CEO Tim Cook), deputy press secretary to a U.S. Senator, and an outdoors columnist at the Rocky Mountain News. He has an English degree from the University of Washington. He was awarded a fellowship to study internet journalism at the University of Maryland's Knight Center for Specialized Journalism. He was student body president in college. He spends his free time hiking and skiing.

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