Wednesday, July 8, 2009
Driving Bottled Water Companies Out Of Business
If there's an industry that the federal government has somehow failed to regulate, sooner or later it will be targeted. The latest potential victim: bottle water companies.
It seems that water that comes out of the tap is regulated. Municipal water systems must report to the government just what's in the water that it feeds to our homes. Of course, we the consumers of that water don't get a notice about what we're filling our drinking glasses with. But they do have to report just the same.
Now the government wants to extend those regulations to the distributors of bottled water. Not only would they be required to analyze the content of their product. They would have to label each bottle of water with the results. Handing to them a greater burden of disclosure to the person swallowing the water than municipal water systems.
Now here's the interesting point. Where do the bottled water companies come up with the water that they sell? Do they collect them in their own reservoirs, run them through filtering plants and then fill the bottles? Or do they simply turn on the same taps as you and I do and fill the bottles with water that's already regulated?
Generally police departments want to show that crime is down in their cities to prove they are doing a good job. But I've actually known police chiefs who have leaked crime stories to me, especially when their city councils were figuring out budgets. There's job security for cops when there's crime. No crime, no need for a lot of police.
This seems, to me, to be a case of the latter. Government bureaucrats coming up with regulations to justify their positions.
Environmentalists have been waging an effective campaign against the bottled water industry - urging people to drink from the tap because it's less expensive and all those empty plastic bottles need to be disposed of. Not to mention the carbon footprint associated with delivering bottled water.
These are all good arguments that have drastically reduced the profitability of bottled water. If the government goes ahead with these new proposed regulations, it could just be enough to put some of the bottle water companies out of business altogether. One could argue that, with the economy such as it is, the last thing we need is the federal government, which is supposedly creating jobs with the various economic stimulus program, causing more people to head for the unemployment line.
Photo credit: http://www.flickr.com/photos/uditk/1590855800/