Why Do We Drink Bottled Water? With Prof. Jim Salzman

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The sixth session of The Water Values Podcast welcomes Duke University professor Jim Salzman. Jim wrote a book titled Drinking Water: A History, in which he follows the history of water from a number of differing perspectives. In our talk, Jim addresses several of those issues and focuses on the rise of bottled water and two ongoing debates – drinking water as a commodity versus drinking water as a human right, and drinking water in the developing world provided by grey infrastructure versus drinking water provided by point of use treatment. You will learn a lot by listening to Professor Salzman.

In this Session, You’ll Learn about:

  • How water came to be bottled in the first place
  • Early American bottled water’s medicinal roots
  • What caused the American bottled water market to crash in the early 20th century
  • The European conception of bottled water and the vastly different American view of bottled water
  • How bottled water found a renaissance in the United States
  • Bottled water versus tap water regulation
  • The different tastes of bottled water
  • Where bottled water comes from
  • The commodification of water and the argument for the private sector supplying drinking water
  • Water as a human right and the argument for government supplying drinking water
  • The debate over how best to provide safe drinking water to the developing world
  • What the future use of water holds for us

Resources and Links Mentioned in this Session Include:


Click here to download the Transcript for Session 6 of The Water Values Podcast

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2 thoughts on “Why Do We Drink Bottled Water? With Prof. Jim Salzman

  1. Pingback: McCord Consulting Group | Water Water Everywhere!

  2. David Zetland

    Salzman’s description of McCloud was a little too general and slightly biased.

    (1) Local leaders signed a contract with Nestle, to divert about 10% of the snow runoff into bottling. The deal was rejected because (a) the price was too low and (b) lots of people worried about environmental impacts (trucks WERE a big concern)

    (2) It wasn’t about draining an aquifer, although those problems have crept up before; it wasn’t about “millions of gallons” as the diversions were moderate; and it wasn’t about “who the water belonged to, as that was clear in the contract.

    More: https://www.google.com/search?q=mccloud+site%3Aaguanomics.com

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