THREE WATER STORIES THAT CAUGHT MY EYE
In one of Zenith’s regular client newsletters last week, I was struck by three consecutive items on water – in the UK, US and Fiji. The UK Government is supporting a massive new £100 million campaign to promote more responsible consumption of alcohol. One of the posters features a bottle of water. Last year, a Government Minister declared bottled water bordered on being morally unacceptable. Now another Government Minister is endorsing it as part of a public health message. The second concluded with a statement by the US based International Bottled Water Association that: “We test per gallon 68 times more than municipal systems.” Bottled water companies in many countries have had to face jibes that tap water is regulated more stringently and tested more rigorously than bottled water. This figure certainly answers one of the concerns. The third reported various criticisms of Fiji Water, including its export to the other side of the world while Fijians suffer poor water supplies. In a wide ranging response by blog, the company said its 350 employees had few other job prospects and were among the highest paid in the country. The environmental debate will always be difficult for Fiji to answer, but I would have to defend a country’s right to improve its economy through free and fair trade.