According to Henry David Thoreau, “Water is the only drink for a wise man.” When one considers the price, I wonder what Thoreau might think about the phenomenon of bottled drinking water for sale in stores all over the world? According to the International Bottled Water Association, total bottled water consumption was 8.45 billion gallons in 2010 which averages 28.3 gallons per person in the United States!
In Dalton and Whitfield County, local residents spend an estimated $7 million a year on bottled water….when they could refill the same bottle of water they might buy for $1.69 at a convenience store up to 8,000 times from their tap…for the same cost! Hard to believe, right?
Residents spend approximately $9.1 million dollars a year to purchase tap water. If you didn’t have tap water and had to buy bottled water to replace it, it would cost a staggering $11.5 billion (that is billion with a “B”) dollars per year. If we want to continue to have clean, safe water to wash our clothes and dishes, bathe in, wash our cars, fill our aquariums, run our factories, water our lawns and…..oh yes, to DRINK, then we must support our public water systems. By the way…only 3% of water used in a household is actually used for drinking water!
Nationally, people willingly spend an estimated $21 billion per year on bottled water. This is almost as much money as is spent on maintaining and operating the ENTIRE public drinking water system across the United States – the system which drives every aspect of our economy!
So remember, the next time you purchase a bottle of water at the store, for the same investment, you could be buying the equivalent of 8,000 bottles of clean, safe water from your public water supplier. Not only are you getting a much greater return on your investment, but you are also supporting the long-term health of our water infrastructure!
(This is the first in a series of articles about Dalton Utilities’ water system that will be running in the next few months.)