New Study Reports Bottled Water Use
2000 Times More Energy Intensive than Tap
(OAKLAND, CA) In a newly published article in the February 2009 edition of the peer-reviewed journal Environmental Research Letters, the Pacific Institute estimates that the annual consumption of bottled water in the U.S. in 2007 required the equivalent of between 32 and 54 million barrels of oil—roughly one-third of a percent of total U.S. primary energy consumption.
The article, “Energy implications of bottled water” by researchers Peter H. Gleick and Heather Cooley, is the first peer-reviewed analysis of its kind. Gleick and Cooley find bottled water is up to 2000 times more energy-intensive than tap water. Similarly, bottled water that requires long-distance transport is far more energy-intensive than bottled water produced and distributed locally.