Bottled Water Facts

Gazette numerical wizard B. Sharper fills in the blanks that Harper’s misses.

Based on Professor POU/POE’s “Bottled Drinking Water” piece in the July 2015 Water Technology, with some modification and augmentation.

Percentage of US tap water that is used for drinking and cooking– <1%.

US bottled water sales for 2013, in gallons – >10 billion.

US bottled water sales for 2013 in dollars – >$12.3 billion.

Percentage of bottled water consumed in the US that is imported – 10%.

For comparison, the daily drinking water production (tap water) of the city of Chigago – > 1 billion gallons.

US per capita consumption of bottled water in gallons – 32.

Factor by which Mexico’s per capita bottled water consumtion exceeds US consumption—2.

Percentage of US bottled water consumption is for “still” (non-carbonated) water—90%.

The most popular size bottle for home/office water delivery—5 gallon.

Overall per gallon cost of bottled water–$1.23.

Typical cost of tap water in the US per 1,000 gallons – $3 to $4.

Minimum TDS (total dissolved solids) required for bottled water to be classified as “mineral water”–250 ppm.

Total number of recalls of bottled water reported between 1989 and 2011 – 6.

Percentage of plastic water bottles that are recycled — c. 20%.

Current American annual consumption of bottled water, in gallons — 8.6 billion.

Years required for plastic water bottles to decompose — 400 to 1,000.

Factor by which the amount of water needed to produce a plastic water bottle exceeds the water needed to fill it — 3.

Barrels of oil required each year to produce plastic water bottles — 17,000,000.