Water don't leave home without it

I see my wife leaving the house to go to the supermarket, which is just about a 2 minute drive. In one hand she has the car keys and in the other she's grasping a plastic bottle of water. 'Are you expecting to go shopping in the Sahara Desert?' I asked with a grin.

'Oh, you mean this?' she responded, holding the jug of liquid aloft.

'Yeah, I was wondering if you're going on a safari or if you planned on coming home sometime this week,' I said, still smirking.

'Don't be silly,' she replied with a frown. 'You know how important water intake is.'

'Well, yes, food is important too, but I don't see you carrying a couple of sandwiches with you every time you leave the house' I retorted with the slightest hint of sarcasm.

The selling of bottled water ranks as one of the most adroit marketing schemes ever to insinuate itself into the psyches of the American consumer. Undoubtedly, about 30 years ago, some whiz kid came up with the idea of using clever marketing to get premium prices for a product that everyone could get for free in homes, restaurants and office buildings in every city in the country. Europeans had already been buying bottled mineral water from famous spas for some time, after all. In the old days of unhealthy tap water, this might have made sense.

Before we were all lulled into thinking that tap water is dirty, smelly, impure and unhealthy, we couldn't have imagined the day would come when we'd pay for it like soda pop, juice or milk. Moreover, we never imagined that people would become so attached to their water supply that they would never leave home without a full canteen, as their ancestors did when they were slogging through the desiccated prairies in wagon trains.

It all began with the selling of water filters for home use. Network marketing companies became very effective in spreading the message by word of mouth that the 'impurities' in tap water were the cause of several maladies. We were introduced to terms like, 'reverse osmosis filtration, carbon pressed purification,' and 'oxygen reinforced sluicing.' All designed to sound scientific and just esoteric enough to confuse as well as captivate a gullible public.

It worked even better than could have been expected. The home filtration systems could turn out a liter of water for a few pennies, when based on the cost of the apparatus and the volume of water it 'purified' during the life of the system. Soon, however, it became apparent that people on the go would pay even more for a portable supply. Hence, a new idea was born; tell the public that the filtering would be done at the factory and sell the fluid over the counter in bottles. Furthermore, make it appear chic to have a ubiquitous supply of H20 in the hands of a perpetually parched public. Voila! Today, it's a $9 billion business and growing.

On a recent 60 Minutes segment, Andy Rooney lampooned the issue.
 
'One of the most popular brands, Poland Spring water, isn't Polish; it's from Poland Spring, Maine. A pint costs $1.35 in the CBS cafeteria. Now just think about that. There are eight pints in a gallon, so if your car ran on water instead of gas and you had to fill a 15—gallon tank with this, it would cost $162 to fill your tank with water,' said the CBS curmudgeon.  Mr. Rooney took some of the bottles to a testing laboratory called Yorktown Environmental Services to see what was in them. 'From all the waters I've seen that are bottled waters, and I probably haven't tested all of them, but they are very much dead water.... They have nothing in them. I drink tap water,' says lab owner and water expert Al Padovani. In addition, the authority on water said, 'The water that you get out of a municipal supply or a well supply has more chemicals that the body needs.' 

Rooney said he works on the same floor with a staff of about 60 people, and just about everyone has a bottle of water on his/her desk. 'It's like a security blanket, it's always there,' he said. 'And, they carry it wherever they go.' He added, 'Out by the elevator, there's a water fountain. The water is cooled, very good and the filter is changed regularly. I have never seen anyone drink this free water.' Such is the genius of marketing. Keep in mind; we're now being told that our air is not pure. Soon, we may all be wearing surgical masks like Michael Jackson.

Bob Weir is a former detective sergeant in the New York City Police Department. He is the excutive editor of The News Connection in Highland Village, Texas. BobWeir777@aol.com

I see my wife leaving the house to go to the supermarket, which is just about a 2 minute drive. In one hand she has the car keys and in the other she's grasping a plastic bottle of water. 'Are you expecting to go shopping in the Sahara Desert?' I asked with a grin.

'Oh, you mean this?' she responded, holding the jug of liquid aloft.

'Yeah, I was wondering if you're going on a safari or if you planned on coming home sometime this week,' I said, still smirking.

'Don't be silly,' she replied with a frown. 'You know how important water intake is.'

'Well, yes, food is important too, but I don't see you carrying a couple of sandwiches with you every time you leave the house' I retorted with the slightest hint of sarcasm.

The selling of bottled water ranks as one of the most adroit marketing schemes ever to insinuate itself into the psyches of the American consumer. Undoubtedly, about 30 years ago, some whiz kid came up with the idea of using clever marketing to get premium prices for a product that everyone could get for free in homes, restaurants and office buildings in every city in the country. Europeans had already been buying bottled mineral water from famous spas for some time, after all. In the old days of unhealthy tap water, this might have made sense.

Before we were all lulled into thinking that tap water is dirty, smelly, impure and unhealthy, we couldn't have imagined the day would come when we'd pay for it like soda pop, juice or milk. Moreover, we never imagined that people would become so attached to their water supply that they would never leave home without a full canteen, as their ancestors did when they were slogging through the desiccated prairies in wagon trains.

It all began with the selling of water filters for home use. Network marketing companies became very effective in spreading the message by word of mouth that the 'impurities' in tap water were the cause of several maladies. We were introduced to terms like, 'reverse osmosis filtration, carbon pressed purification,' and 'oxygen reinforced sluicing.' All designed to sound scientific and just esoteric enough to confuse as well as captivate a gullible public.

It worked even better than could have been expected. The home filtration systems could turn out a liter of water for a few pennies, when based on the cost of the apparatus and the volume of water it 'purified' during the life of the system. Soon, however, it became apparent that people on the go would pay even more for a portable supply. Hence, a new idea was born; tell the public that the filtering would be done at the factory and sell the fluid over the counter in bottles. Furthermore, make it appear chic to have a ubiquitous supply of H20 in the hands of a perpetually parched public. Voila! Today, it's a $9 billion business and growing.

On a recent 60 Minutes segment, Andy Rooney lampooned the issue.
 
'One of the most popular brands, Poland Spring water, isn't Polish; it's from Poland Spring, Maine. A pint costs $1.35 in the CBS cafeteria. Now just think about that. There are eight pints in a gallon, so if your car ran on water instead of gas and you had to fill a 15—gallon tank with this, it would cost $162 to fill your tank with water,' said the CBS curmudgeon.  Mr. Rooney took some of the bottles to a testing laboratory called Yorktown Environmental Services to see what was in them. 'From all the waters I've seen that are bottled waters, and I probably haven't tested all of them, but they are very much dead water.... They have nothing in them. I drink tap water,' says lab owner and water expert Al Padovani. In addition, the authority on water said, 'The water that you get out of a municipal supply or a well supply has more chemicals that the body needs.' 

Rooney said he works on the same floor with a staff of about 60 people, and just about everyone has a bottle of water on his/her desk. 'It's like a security blanket, it's always there,' he said. 'And, they carry it wherever they go.' He added, 'Out by the elevator, there's a water fountain. The water is cooled, very good and the filter is changed regularly. I have never seen anyone drink this free water.' Such is the genius of marketing. Keep in mind; we're now being told that our air is not pure. Soon, we may all be wearing surgical masks like Michael Jackson.

Bob Weir is a former detective sergeant in the New York City Police Department. He is the excutive editor of The News Connection in Highland Village, Texas. BobWeir777@aol.com