Karl Flecker

Karl Flecker directs the Water Program at the Polaris Institute in Ottawa, Canada.

Recent Articles

The Backlash Against Bottled Water

The worldwide demand for water is doubling every 20 years. By 2025, two-thirds of all people may be facing severe water shortages. Concurrently, the bottled-water market has been exploding in North America. Today, close to one-fifth of the population relies exclusively on bottled water for its daily hydration. In the past decade, North American sales of bottled water tripled; in some regions consumption of it outpaces coffee, tea, apple juice, and milk. The Natural Resources Defense Council has estimated that bottled water is between 240 and 10,000 times more expensive than tap water. For Coca-Cola's Dasani and Pepsi's Aquafina, products drawn from municipal taps, this price markup is astonishing. Nestlé pays little for the water it takes out of groundwater streams and aquifers. Bottled water is quite simply water transformed into water. Bottled water is often depicted as coming from pristine natural environments. The label on Alaska Premium Glacier Drinking Water claims that it is "...