Why Water Will Never Be the Next Oil: A Guest Post by Charles Fishman

Here now is the second in a series of guest posts from Charles Fishman, whose new book is called The Big Thirst: The Secret Life and Turbulent Future of Water. (Fishman’s last book is The Wal-Mart Effect.) In The Big Thirst, Fishman tackles the debate around water as an increasingly precious resource while reminding us […]

The Strange Economics of Water, and Why It Shouldn't Be Free: A Guest Post

Water is a topic that's come up repeatedly on this blog. We've written about attempts to do away with bottled water; why it's a bad idea to ban bottled water; whether festivals should hand out free water; and the need for safe supplies of water around the world.

Why Doesn't SXSW Hand Out Free Water?

A reader named Shira Bannerman writes:

I just spent the week at SXSW, an indie music festival in Austin, TX, that attracted around 230,00 attendees. (Well, first it’s an interactive media and movie fest, but I only went for the music fest portion. I’d also specifically like to mention that my experience is only reflective of the free concerts, as I didn’t pay for a wristband and don’t know if that experience is much different.)

Ban Water Bottles to Reduce Pollution? Come On!

A friend at another university tells me that his school is banning the sale of bottled water on campus, as the university administration is bothered by the pollution produced by plastic water bottles.

Presumably, they figure that bottled-water consumers will switch to tap water, as tap water is bottled water's closest substitute. I wonder -- aren't bottled soft drinks a closer substitute? Don't people want the convenience of a container at their desk rather than an occasional drink at the water cooler (or a cup to be filled at the water cooler)?

Bottled Water Is the Enemy

Mayor Ken Livingstone of London is urging his citizens to forego bottled water in light of the drag it puts on the environment. Mayor Mike Bloomberg of New York has done the same. Others, meanwhile, have taken the further step of an outright ban on bottled water. Your thoughts?

Soda Makers for Sainthood?

The American Beverage Association has just announced its recommendation that elementary schools no longer sell soda pop in vending machines. “Childhood obesity is a real problem,” ABA president and CEO Susan Neely told the Associated Press. (Here is the A.P. article in USA Today.) “The individual companies [represented by the ABA] have been doing several […]