Now I am not a particularly astute shopper and I don't spend a lot of time comparing prices of various consumer goods. But after picking up our rental car prior to checking into our motel, I noted that gasoline was $3.20 a gallon near the airport, which I am sure was not the cheapest gas in the vicinity. A quick calculation revealed that a equal gallon of "Fiji" water would cost $22.00 - that's 688% MORE than an equal volume of gasoline.
Fiji Water has it's own web site: fijiwater.com (At $5.50 a quart they can afford it, the bird sounds alone are worth the visit). Really, you SHOULD check their site out, they have information about the Fijian aquifer, cocktail recipes, contests, even a blog! I have seen corporate retail web sites that have less information about their products than this site about drinking water from Fiji. From their site:
In this isolated and idyllic setting, FIJI Water is drawn from an artesian aquifer that lies hundreds of feet below the edges of a primitive rainforest.Really - you mean to tell me it costs more to put water in a bottle than, say, drill hundreds of feet under ground in deserts or deep water off-shore platforms, pump up the sticky muddy-water-goo, ship it across the globe in huge supertankers, refine, crack and distill it through a massively energy-intensive industrial process then ship it in tankers to local distributors where it is held in tanks and pumped into our plastic bottles?
That distance and isolation is part of what makes FIJI Water so much purer, healthier, and richer in taste than other bottled waters.
When we returned home from Southern California my water bill was waiting in my mailbox. For 8 "units" (5,984 gallons) of pure Oregon municipal tap water, I pay $22.88. This means that it cost me roughly $0.38 cents for 100 gallons of water.
Now of course there are trade-offs. Unlike gasoline which is consumed in my engine and gone forever; conversely, I only get to "use" my city provided water. A goodly amount of it is returned back to the city through an entirely separate set of pipes after flowing through my kidneys and other useful household appliances. So essentially, I have to pay the city for water TWICE. In addition the $22.88 the city charges me for delivering water to my house, they charge an additional $18.70 for "Waste water", $5.48 for "Storm Water" and a $1.36 "Transportation Maintenance Fee". (I guess pipes are not entirely reliable for getting water from one place to the other; perhaps they have to call a "water taxi" occasionally.)
Still, compared to Fiji water, my municipal water is a whopping bargain. Had I instead chosen last month to water my lawn, filled my spa and flush my toilet with Fiji water, it would have cost me $131,648.00 !
Okay, so water in Southern California is likely somewhat more expensive than here in Oregon where we, on the other hand, get free lawn irrigation pretty much the entire months from October through May. However It didn't really dawn on me just how crucial water conservation must be to Southern Californians until until I stepped into the bathroom in our motel room and took a picture of the bath tub.