I went out for my early morning walk this morning (complete darkness, utter lack of street lighting, always an adventure) and after about five minutes it began to drizzle, then over the course of the next ten minutes that got heavier and heavier and heavier, and so I scurried for home, not being dressed for rain. I noticed also that Hobart City Council workers were out in their scores – in multiple trucks and four wheel drives – placing out traffic signs about the streets around Nonsuch … all detouring cars and traffic away from Nonsuch.

I think they may mean to blow me up today. Damn, and I paid my rates yesterday.

Anyway, the drizzle got me to thinking about the NSW town of Bunadoon which wants to ban bottled water. The whole bottled water industry-cum-culture has always amused me. As with supermarkets, I clearly remember a life Before Bottled Water. Everyone survive admirably. No one noticed they were living lives Without Bottled Water. But now?

Some twenty-odd years ago the bottled water industry began one of the best media campaigns every devised. It resulted in the widespread belief that every person needs 2 litres (2 quarts) of spring water a day to survive. Anything less, man, and you’re headed for disaster. It can’t be tap water, it can’t be tea or coffee or lots of juicy watermelon. No, the only liquid capable of sustaining the average human adult was 2 litres of spring water. I am not going to disagree with the idea that lots of fluid a day keeps the doctor away, but, dear heavens, surely most people can work out it doesn’t really matter where that fluid comes from? It is likely not a good idea to drink two litres of alcohol a day, or 2 litres of soft drink, but surely all the teas and coffees and juicy fruits and melons you might imbibe each day also count?

Yes, of course they do. But how often do I have people solemnly telling me (as they lift down another 10 litre plastic container of bottled tap … sorry …. spring water) that it is only the ‘pure’ spring water that counts.

What a fabulous marketing success. Now no one can leave home without the ubiquitous plastic bottle of water.

If you want filtered water then you can use one of the earthenware ceramic filter systems. They’re great and they cost as much as it would for one person to buy themselves a 600 ml (or pint) bottle of water a day for 2 months. From then on their yearly running costs in replacement ceramic filters are only the cost of five purchased 600 ml bottles of water. If you have to take water with you then investigate the possibility of a reusable canteen.

It amazes me what people will spend for a product they can get freely, or at absolute minimal cost, in their own kitchens. It amazes me that when a town suggests banning a redundant product, people get up in arms and cite the second amendment that guarantees every citizen the right to bear bottled water …