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No Frills Water

Enterprising engineers at the Houston public works department are reportedly ready to put their excellent city water up against Perrier and Evian. Just bottle it, slap a fancy price on it, and see if it doesn't slake a late summer thirst.

If Houston's water can sell, the fantasy runs, why not any water from any municipal supply - or any supply, for that matter. It's all a matter of fine-tuning the pitch. The association of bottled water with the Alps, Yosemite, Vermont, and Maine may have reached the ... umm ... saturation point. The suburban jogger-biker-hiker market may be tapped to capacity.

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It may be time for the working man's/woman's bottled water, pumped and purified by the wonders of modern hydrological engineering. The bottled water of the '90s. A back-to-basics water.

That pitch has its limits, of course. Some people may just dispense with the bottle and turn on the faucet.

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