A Modern Day Conundrum: Drought & Bottled Water

This excerpt was written by our very own COO, Alicia Dolan, after a recent trip to the Bay Area:

Drought & Bottled Water?

As our website states and our actions have shown, “Positive Adventures cares about the community we live in and we are committed to giving back both socially and environmentally.” We reuse as much as possible, aim to lower our carbon footprint where we can and urge all to use re-usable drinking containers.

In April PA worked a program in Central California, where signs were posted warning of severe drought.  Recently I traveled up to my parent’s house up in the Bay Area where along the highway,  signs again cautioned travelers of severe drought.  This shouldn’t come as a surprise to Californians given the little rain and poor snowfall the state experienced this year.

As I entered my parent’s house, I walked into a fully stocked kitchen of bottled water lined up on the shelves next to the refrigerator.  I passed by these bottles, grabbed a cup out of the cabinet, headed to the tap, filled the cup to brim, and greedily guzzled the tap water. It was 90 degrees outside after all and hydration in high heat is essential  for self-care.  As I finished the last sip, I glanced at a half-full bottle of water on the counter and this got me thinking: In times of severe drought, should I be drinking the tap water that the signs on the highway warned me was in short supply or should I be turning to bottle water to save our limited tap water resource? 


I found myself in a conundrum.  On the one hand,  I thought about the toll that drinking bottled water takes on the environment and in the communities where the water is sourced.  On the other hand, our tap water resources are plummeting even as people conserve and limit their tap water use.

In the United States, bottled water consumption has ballooned to approximately 30 gallons per person/per year. This sounds like a lot until you look at the figures of tapwater consumption per day.  30 gallons is approximately same amount of tap water that is consumed by the average person in single bath or a 15-minute shower. Overall the average person uses approximately 80-100 gallons of water a day.

So my question to you all is, could bottled water be a necessary evil in these cautionary times?

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