Bottled water is easy to stow in your gym bag, and a must for your at-home disaster-preparedness kit. However, its meteoric rise since the 1970s has had a negative impact on the environment, and the battle between bottling brands is hiking up the cost of our planet's most important, precious resource.
Luckily numerous government agencies are regulating the industry — in the U.S., both the Environmental Protection Agency and the Food and Drug Administration keep steady watch — to minimize any negative effects and promote practical recycling measures. This is more and more necessary, since it is projected that in 2017 we'll consume 103 billion gallons of bottled water worldwide.
Want to know how we got here? Here's a brief overview.