While at dinner with a friend a few years ago, I was amused when the waiter offered me a choice of either “bottled water” or “Vancouver Tap”. It was a higher end restaurant and I thought this was a great way to describe the less exciting option. It wasn’t just tap water – it was a much sexier, well-branded “Vancouver Tap”.
Perhaps the ultimate in consuming local food and beverages, tap water is beginning a return to vogue. With the realization that bottled water leaves behind, well, bottles (3 million in Vancouver area landfills last year alone), many environmental groups and, indeed, Metro Vancouver itself, are lobbying residents to take another look at “Vancouver Tap”. In fact, Metro Vancouver has a current goal to reduce bottled water use by 20% by 2010 by encouraging residents to refill reusable water bottles with tap water.
Further to the environmental affects, the cost of bottles vs. tap is staggering. Bottled water costs $1-2 per litre while tap water in Metro Vancouver costs a mere $0.80 per 1,000 litres. If you’re concerned about the chlorine taste in the water (used to disinfect the water from both the Capilano and Seymour reservoirs), water filtration systems such as Brita can help.
So, next time you need to quench that thirst, reach for “Vancouver Tap”: it’s cheap, safe, and leaves no bottle behind.