• “Americans spent $31 billion last year on bottled water”
  • “Bottled water’s growing popularity stems in part from its convenience but also from the perception that it’s higher-quality water.”
  • “Bottled water has become the country’s No. 1 beverage, with the average American consuming 42 gallons in 2018.”
  • “The EPA says that over the next 20 years, fixing and maintaining the nation’s reservoirs, treatment plants, and pipes would cost about $24 billion annually—$7 billion less than what Americans spent on bottled water last year.”
  • “Water Affordability, Transparency, Equity and Reliability (WATER) Act of 2019 now in Congress. The act would increase funding by $35 billion per year for drinking water and wastewater improvements.”

Saving money on plastic water bottles will not only help your wallet but it’s better for the environment. Your tap water may be just fine although many are led to believe it’s not as clean as bottled water. In fact, some bottled water are contaminated. 

Now, this also involves your health! As mentioned in the article, “CR’s review of water quality test reports we gathered from companies and regulatory agencies, combined with our spot tests of bottled waters, found that 6 percent of brands had a contaminant that exceeded state or federal limits.” And there are instances where bottled water has been taken off Grocery store shelves due to high levels of arsenic. 

                            Monthly Spend on Bottled Water

             Median amount spent each month on bottled water, per household. 

Source: Consumer Reports nationally representative survey of 4,225 Americans. Note: Race categories (white, black, and Asian) include only respondents of non-Hispanic ethnicity and exclude those who identify as more than one race.

It is interesting to see that people with income below $25,000 (the working poor) tend to spend 50% more on bottled water than richer folks. The reason could be that water pipes in poor (whether in homes or on city properties) have not been well maintained to prevent contamination. The recent well publicized water crises in poorer areas such as Flint, MI or Newark, NJ may have skewed the above data. 

Nonetheless, people should be educated about their options and should also realize that $19/month invested in a retirement account every month for 30 years can give you about $51,500 or $3,400 of yearly income for 20 years during retirement.

It’s about time we take the time to understand where our drinking water comes from and whether or not it is actually safe to drink tap water. Perhaps also considering investing in a water purifying filter for your home if results are not satisfactory. Cutting down on water bottle use should be a priority not only to save money but to help reduce the amount of fossil fuel used to recycle them or the amount of plastic that ends up in the ocean.

Source: Consumer Reports Magazine, Should We Break Our Bottled Water Habit?”

Link: https://www.consumerreports.org/bottled-water/should-we-break-our-bottled-water-habit/  Sources: Beverage Marketing Corporation and Environmental Protection Agency.


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