This note begins by looking at the bottled water industry and its recent, enormous growth - for instance, in 2001 U.S. consumers drank five billion gallons of bottled water. Noting that the industry has grown in such a significant manner, this note takes issue with the regulations of the bottled water industry. The author argues that the federal regulations, state regulations, and self-imposed regulation (from the industry itself) were insufficient because the regulations focus on the quality of the water extracted from the source versus the quantity of the water extracted. Following the explanation of the author's theory, that the industry should be regulated in the amount that it extracts, the author explores the environmental issues experienced in several states, including Michigan, Wisconsin, Texas, and a specific case study in Florida. Arguing that extraction for bottled water, taken from a local source and shipped elsewhere, causes significant environmental problems such as salt-water intrusion, and depletion of the local water sources, the author supports her quantity-based regulation theory. Finally, the author suggests, as a means of counteracting the negative environmental impacts experienced because of bottled water extraction, that states: (1) classify water as a natural public resource; (2) restrict bulk transfers of water; (3) encourage experimentation with desalinization processes; and (4) establish ecolabeling programs to cover the costs incurred locally.
Boldt-Van Rooy, Tara
""Bottling Up" Our Natural Resources: The Fight Over Bottled Water Extraction in the United States,"
Florida State University Journal of Land Use and Environmental Law: Vol. 18
, Article 2.
Available at: https://ir.law.fsu.edu/jluel/vol18/iss2/2