Wednesday, March 23, 2005

World Water Day 3/22/05
Eau de Paris/Agua de la Florida

Half the drinking water in Paris is provided by artesian wells; the other half of the water is pumped from the Seine and purified. Half of the Parisians drink municipal water; the other half drinks bottled water. How does one convince a Parisian that his/her municipal water supply is as good as the bottled stuff? Enlist famed designer Pierre Cardin to design a tres chic carafe meant to store Paris tap water in the refrigerator, and then give 30,000 of them away on World Water Day, in front of the Hotel de Ville.

Florida has 27 of this nation's 78 first magnitude springs as well as 70 second magnitude springs. The many springs have long been a precious economic and recreation resource for the state. Several of Florida's spring parks are wondrous jewels in the highly regarded State Park system.

During the
bottled water boom of the 1990's bottled water companies came to Florida's springs. They continue to vie for rights to pump the pure water flowing straight from the Floridan aquifer. As you might expect, there are severely contested issues concerning water and development rights, preservation of natural spring flow and integrity, and locally unwanted land uses (LULU's).

A very interesting and lengthy fact-filled article entitled "Unknown Quantity: the Bottled Water Industry and Florida's Springs" from Florida State University's Journal of Land Use and Environmental Law can be found here.

Next time you purchase bottled water, check the label for the water's source. You may be drinking Florida. Just don't drink her dry.
Then do the world a favor in honor of World Water Day: Refill the plastic bottle with water from your tap, and reuse the bottle over and over, until it's worn out. Ponce de Leon would approve.

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