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水道水を飲みましょう(米国)

2007-08-04 13:42:38 | 環境問題
日本では水道水はできるだけ飲むなという雰囲気ですが。
米国の水道水は質がよいのでしょうか。

In Praise of Tap Water
Published: August 1, 2007

On the streets of New York or Denver or San Mateo this summer, it seems the telltale cap of a water bottle is sticking out of every other satchel. Americans are increasingly thirsty for what is billed as the healthiest, and often most expensive, water on the grocery shelf. But this country has some of the best public water supplies in the world. Instead of consuming four billion gallons of water a year in individual-sized bottles, we need to start thinking about what all those bottles are doing to the planet’s health.

Here are the hard, dry facts: Yes, drinking water is a good thing, far better than buying soft drinks, or liquid candy, as nutritionists like to call it. And almost all municipal water in America is so good that nobody needs to import a single bottle from Italy or France or the Fiji Islands. Meanwhile, if you choose to get your recommended eight glasses a day from bottled water, you could spend up to $1,400 annually. The same amount of tap water would cost about 49 cents.

Next, there’s the environment. Water bottles, like other containers, are made from natural gas and petroleum. The Earth Policy Institute in Washington has estimated that it takes about 1.5 million barrels of oil to make the water bottles Americans use each year. That could fuel 100,000 cars a year instead. And, only about 23 percent of those bottles are recycled, in part because water bottles are often not included in local redemption plans that accept beer and soda cans. Add in the substantial amount of fuel used in transporting water, which is extremely heavy, and the impact on the environment is anything but refreshing.

Tap water may now be the equal of bottled water, but that could change. The more the wealthy opt out of drinking tap water, the less political support there will be for investing in maintaining America’s public water supply. That would be a serious loss. Access to cheap, clean water is basic to the nation’s health.

Some local governments have begun to fight back. Earlier this summer, San Francisco Mayor Gavin Newsom prohibited his city’s departments and agencies from buying bottled water, noting that San Francisco water is “some of the most pristine on the planet.” Salt Lake City has issued a similar decree, and New York City recently began an advertising campaign that touted its water as “clean,” “zero sugar” and even “stain free.”

The real change, though, will come when millions of ordinary consumers realize that they can save money, and save the planet, by turning in their water bottles and turning on the tap.


To the Editor:
Related
Editorial: In Praise of Tap Water (August 1, 2007)

“In Praise of Tap Water” (editorial, Aug. 1) rightly casts the choice between tap water and bottled water in important environmental concerns.

We must fight the efforts of corporations to transform into a product what is and should be maintained as a public resource. Watersheds must be protected, and municipal water infrastructures must be kept up.

I propose a second public health initiative for our mayor, Michael R. Bloomberg, to go along with his smoking bans. New York City has the blessing of clean, good-tasting water.

Let’s get water fountains out on the streets and in the parks of our great pedestrian city — not a handful, but thousands and thousands. I could imagine a design for fire hydrants to be mixed-use devices.

Visitors to the city should be going home extolling our municipal munificence, not complaining that a bottle of water in Bryant Park costs $3.

Tim Philo
Brooklyn, Aug. 1, 2007



To the Editor:

As any kid knows, water from the drinking fountains in older school buildings tastes yucky, no matter how good the water is from the municipal system.

The same goes for public bubblers in parks and on streets, and those fountains suffer the added risk of contamination by previous users.

Most parents have had the experience of traipsing to the kitchen to get a drink of water for their child because bathroom water just doesn’t taste right. Even in my condo building, I need to let the faucet run a while to flush the stagnant, off-tasting water from the pipes before filling my glass.

Visitors know that in Manhattan, San Francisco, London and any other major city with good water, it is nearly impossible to find a simple drink of tap water without having to go into a restaurant and order food.

The bottled water industry addresses a genuine need that before its rise was satisfied only by the soda and juice companies and their vending machines.

Hugh C. Lauer
Concord, Mass., Aug. 1, 2007



To the Editor:

The extent of the use of bottled water has got to rank as one of the most astonishing mass-market brainwashes ever.

When you consider the costs — the high price of a near-free commodity and the impact on the environment — and the ease with which one can get tap water, this should be one of the easiest addictions to eradicate.

Now, if only I could get my own family to listen to me ...

Rajeev Krishnamoorthy
San Jose, Calif., Aug. 1, 2007



To the Editor:

An additional reason to encourage drinking tap water, particularly for children and adolescents, is that it contains fluoride.

A surgeon general’s report in 2000 ranked oral health as a serious health problem in children in America. For low-income families in particular, substituting bottled water without fluoride for tap water in formula feeding or for general use increases the likelihood of dental caries and poor oral health.

High-risk children don’t need to buy “status water,” which will add one more problem to a long list of adverse health outcomes they face.

John J. Frey III, M.D.
Madison, Wis., Aug. 1, 2007

The writer is a professor of family medicine, University of Wisconsin School of Medicine and Public Health.



To the Editor:

Your Aug. 1 editorial nicely extols the virtues of America’s high-quality tap water and casts a spotlight on the growing economic and environmental costs of our unnecessary bottled water use, including the large amounts of energy required.

Unfortunately, the problem is even worse than it seems. We estimate that the equivalent of more than 17 million barrels of oil were used to make the billions of plastic bottles Americans consumed in 2006 as bottled water.

And that doesn’t include the additional energy needed to fill the bottles with water, move them to our stores and homes, chill them for use or dispose of them.

Peter Gleick
President, Pacific Institute
Oakland, Calif., Aug. 1, 2007



To the Editor:

We should support people drinking water, both tap and bottled, because it’s healthier for them and the environment than drinking anything else.

Obesity and related illnesses are soaring. There has been a 370 percent increase in overweight schoolchildren in the last 30 years. More than 20 percent of the calories Americans consume come from beverages.

People want and need bottled water when tap water is not available or not preferred. Seventy-five percent of bottled water drinkers also drink tap. If they don’t have bottled water, our research shows that half would drink sweetened beverages.

Our bottles use a third less plastic than other beverage containers. At the same time, it is imperative that we all strive to recycle bottles and other packaging. While water bottles alone make up less than 1 percent of the waste stream, at Nestlé Waters, we support improving our recycling laws.

Kim Jeffery
President and Chief Executive, Nestlé Waters North America
Greenwich, Conn., Aug. 1, 2007



To the Editor:

I agree that the water supplies in most cites are very clean and safe to drink. But there is an unfortunate part of the equation, the delivery system of that clean water. By the time the water gets into our glass, it can go through some pretty unsavory pipes.

If we could afford to replace those rusty old iron pipes, or convince our landlords to replace them, maybe more of us would drink from the tap.

Jeff Holtzman
Seattle, Aug. 1, 2007



To the Editor:

I made the switch a year ago out of bottled water. It was mostly a psychological hurdle, not a taste issue.

Hint: add a couple of cubes of ice to your tap water and the psychology works in your favor. In a blind taste test, tap water with ice cubes beats bottled water with no cubes every time.

Gordon Baird
Gloucester, Mass., Aug. 1, 2007
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