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Old 08-25-2009, 02:27 PM   #1
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Angry fiji water story

thought this was a pretty cool story into the dark side of water, who knew.


http://www.dailyfinance.com/2009/08/...rial-colonial/

Fiji Water: So cool, so fresh, so bad for the environment?
08-24-2009
The story of Fiji Water, as detailed in a startling and detailed investigative piece in Mother Jones magazine this month, seems familiar. Leafing through the story, I found myself trying to remember where I'd read this tale before; like an old melody at the back of my brain, it hovered, just beyond memory.

Suddenly it came to me: it's Dole, it's West Indies Sugar Corporation, it's the old, old story. A company located in a lush, tropical location with a totalitarian government that welcomes foreign interests with deep pockets. It doesn't tax them, gives them access to the country's most precious natural resources, and stands by with heavy artillery in hand, protecting them while they strip the country.

Meanwhile, the country's citizens struggle with terrible poverty, hunger and squalid conditions. The only part of the story that Fiji Water has not yet repeated is the inevitable depletion of the resource -- in this case, a 17-mile-long aquifer to which Fiji Water has "near-exclusive access" -- and the subsequent abandonment of the country.

What makes this story so difficult to swallow is how eagerly the U.S. seems to have embraced Fiji's co-owners Stewart and Lynda Resnick. On this side of the Pacific, the pair cheerfully line the pockets of any political figure in sight (they supported both McCain and Obama in the past election) while selling Fiji's best, cleanest water at a huge profit. On the other side of the ocean, the people of Fiji suffer under terrible water conditions that have led to outbreaks of typhoid and parasitic infections.


It appears that America has embraced the Resnicks: Lynda brags that she knows "everyone in the world, every mogul, every movie star." These relationships have proven handy, as the Resnicks have reaped $1.5 million a year in water subsidies for their almond, pistachio and pomegranate crops in the U.S.

These agricultural water subsidies must be viewed in context: the stress from travelling to pollinate the almond "monoculture" crops like the ones the Resnicks grow, along with the pesticides they sell, are considered to be some of the major reasons that bees are succumbing to colony collapse disorder. And the Resnicks control an enormous amount of California water infrastructure that was built by public funds. They have a 48 percent interest in the Kern Water Bank, which was meant to collect water from aqueducts and the Kern River and to redistribute this water in times of drought.

[Poll Removed for Email] The Resnicks and their Paramount Farms and Paramount Citrus could use the water to irrigate their fields (which are already subsidized by the government), or they could sell it to municipalities. According to critics, the Resnicks are "trying to 'game' the water market the way Enron gamed the energy market."


So the Resnicks are not known for their even-handedness with politicians or water, and their practices in the U.S. are not the greenest of all possible greens. In fact, they could share responsibility for many of our environmental woes. They could have a hand in California's future water shortages, during which they could profit gloriously. All the while, they are loudly and proudly marketing Fiji Water as the most environmentally friendly bottled water company in the world.

This, of course, is not saying much. Bottled water is notorious for its position in top five lists of "what not to do" for the planet. One day, future civilizations will look back on this decade and wonder in disbelief why it was that we pumped water out of one part of the planet, encased it in plastic, then encased it again for shipping, and spent many many non-renewable resources to bring it to another part of the planet where clean water was already plentiful. It's patently ridiculous.

The story is disturbing because of the truths it tells us about ourselves and our society. It's not just the water thing. It's the marketing. Lynda Resnick has been repeatedly described as a marketing genius for her ability to transform Fiji Water into a must-have accessory for environmentally-conscious celebrities and politicians, despite its heavy use of plastic and questionable commitment to environmentally sustainable practices. And oh, we are drinking the marketing at far greater rates than we are drinking the water. Our celebrities both enormous (Obama, Paris, and their ilk) and minor (the geekarati at the SXSW festival) can't live without it. So neither can we. Whatever celebrities sell us? YUM. Damn the consequences.


It's troubling, at the end of the story, that the company is not, as Anna Lenzer writes in her follow-up to the story (after Fiji Water spokesman Rob Six defended his company) doing anything about the military junta now controlling Fiji. "A UN official . . . in a recent commentary . . . singled out Fiji Water as the one company with enough leverage to force the junta to budge."

The commentary, by the way, was titled "Why Obama should stop drinking Fiji water."
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Old 08-25-2009, 02:35 PM   #2
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Default Re: fiji water story

...and I always thought it was Suntan Lotion.
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Old 08-25-2009, 02:41 PM   #3
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Default Re: fiji water story

damn! now i can't drink or buy their water for restaurant.
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Old 08-25-2009, 02:41 PM   #4
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Default Re: fiji water story

I never got the hype associated with this water. The wife bought a bottle once, guess what, it tasted like water. I nearly had a heart attack when I found out it cost $5.
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Old 08-25-2009, 02:53 PM   #5
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Default Re: fiji water story

this is one water i drink a lot or aquafina (yes i know it local tap). sucks to find this out. i guess its just aquafina for me now.
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Old 08-25-2009, 02:58 PM   #6
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Default Re: fiji water story

After working in the bottled water industry and finding out their is NO oversight from ANYONE in what goes into or comes out of the water if anything I haven't bought bottled water since.

I will take my EPA approved, already paid for, tested, re-tested and freely available guberment water.
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Old 08-25-2009, 03:03 PM   #7
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Default Re: fiji water story

Unless your tap water tastes like sh*t or you're out and about and thirsty, I don't know why someone would buy bottled water. I see lots of people in Vancouver, once rated top 3 for drinking water, buying bottled water. This story is doubly insane since I was born in Fiji.
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Old 08-25-2009, 03:15 PM   #8
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Default Re: fiji water story

In Portland Oregon I cannot believe people buy bottled water. The water up here is excellent and all from glacier melt. Down in Phoenix Arizona the water was not as stellar but still nothing a BRita could not handle. Never been into the water bottle thing, however, wish I had thought about it!
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Old 08-25-2009, 03:35 PM   #9
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Default Re: fiji water story

I really dislike bottled water. As others have said, it makes no sense when good tap water is so readily available. Plastic, cardboard, transportation, etc. all just add to the cost.
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Old 08-25-2009, 03:48 PM   #10
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Default Re: fiji water story

Quote:
Originally Posted by kydsid View Post
I will take my EPA approved, already paid for, tested, re-tested and freely available guberment water.
What he said!!
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Old 08-25-2009, 08:40 PM   #11
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Default Re: fiji water story

The unique tasting waters are few and far between. My favorites are from Iceland and they are actually worth it. Best bet is to only buy local bottled water.
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Old 08-25-2009, 09:48 PM   #12
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Default Re: fiji water story

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Originally Posted by mosesbotbol View Post
The unique tasting waters are few and far between. My favorites are from Iceland and they are actually worth it. Best bet is to only buy local bottled water.
yep there are some good water out. I like to get a nice bottle of water do go with some wine/port every one in a while.
i tend to only get water when im out and need a drink and i dont want soda.
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Old 08-26-2009, 12:18 AM   #13
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Default Re: fiji water story

Quote:
Originally Posted by mosesbotbol View Post
The unique tasting waters are few and far between. My favorites are from Iceland and they are actually worth it. Best bet is to only buy local bottled water.
good filters on the home supply is the best option I can think of if you need special water
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Old 08-26-2009, 03:18 AM   #14
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Default Re: fiji water story

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Originally Posted by mosesbotbol View Post
The unique tasting waters are few and far between. My favorites are from Iceland and they are actually worth it. Best bet is to only buy local bottled water.
Agreed. We have a local called TableRock Mountain Spring Water and it's the best water I have ever had. I've visited the actual spring and the bottling facility. They only filter it for trash. Otherwise, it goes straight into the bottle because it's so clean. Yes, water does taste different depending where it comes from. I drink water almost exclusively. I go through about 10-12 gallons in a week. The local tap water around here tastes chalky and almost salty with a slight chlorine smell. Not good at all and filters don't help.
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Old 08-26-2009, 07:28 AM   #15
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Default Re: fiji water story

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good filters on the home supply is the best option I can think of if you need special water
As a former Culligan Man I can tell you that we could make any water drinkable. And when you look at the cost of our equipment when say you have land and water right versus paying a city or county for water, after a couple years it costs the same. We had water that looked like the stuff in Back to the Future III that we made good enough to bottle right in peoples homes.

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The local tap water around here tastes chalky and almost salty with a slight chlorine smell. Not good at all and filters don't help.
Your standard Brita could never overcome those issues. Call the local water bottler etc and they could make a home system that could. Sounds like you need activated carbon for the chlorine smell, a couple small micron filters for the particulates that are getting the chalky taste and you'd be fine. We put that on many people out here with sources coming directly through caliche and it tasted pretty good. The next step would be a small under counter Reverse Osmosis system which isn't that much money really. The water will then be the same as bottled and with the amount you drink you will save a tone of money.
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Old 08-26-2009, 07:46 AM   #16
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Default Re: fiji water story

I think the article was a bit heavier on "the rape of the planet" than "Don't drink bottled water".
I have a Reverse Osmosis system on my sink that makes zero ppm water.
Since it's inception, I thought bottled water has been one of the most retarded concepts ever created.
That said, there's a case in the kitchen because the kids insist on it.

The part that boils me lies in the middle. A seven mile aquifer on one side of the island that's guarded so the people dying on the other side of the island can die.
But it's a global economy, so that's gotta be okay.
And generally, "We the People" could give a sh!t, so long as we've got what we want.
It's a sad state.

I'm happy for the story, and I thank you, Richard. My girlfriend's kid insists on Fiji water.
I'll tell her and my daughter the story the next time I have opportunity. At least there'll be two kids on board when I'm done.
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Old 08-26-2009, 08:48 AM   #17
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Default Re: fiji water story

Shilala, if you have and RO just refill those bottles and put a new cap on, promise the kids won't know the difference.
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Old 08-26-2009, 12:41 PM   #18
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Default Re: fiji water story

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Originally Posted by kydsid View Post


Your standard Brita could never overcome those issues. Call the local water bottler etc and they could make a home system that could. Sounds like you need activated carbon for the chlorine smell, a couple small micron filters for the particulates that are getting the chalky taste and you'd be fine. We put that on many people out here with sources coming directly through caliche and it tasted pretty good. The next step would be a small under counter Reverse Osmosis system which isn't that much money really. The water will then be the same as bottled and with the amount you drink you will save a tone of money.
Been there, done that. Waste of time and money.
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Old 08-26-2009, 01:08 PM   #19
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Default Re: fiji water story

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Been there, done that. Waste of time and money.
Understand. I'm sure your local spring has a unique set of minerals and particulates to it that make is so pallatable. RO water isn't for everyone, but if you still had a taste to it, the company you hired did it wrong.
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Old 08-26-2009, 01:23 PM   #20
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Default Re: fiji water story

We do Deer Park. I'm pretty sure that it is bottled fairly locally.

I know there is still some waste associated with the trucking and running the refridgeraton and heating in the dispenser, but I feel good knowing the large bottles are recycled/reused and it's GOT to be better to fill our (reusable) bottles up at home then buy them in the store and throw them away.

And if you still think it's unnecessary you must have never tasted Philadelphia city water.
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