Via Les the Stupid Evil Bastard, another article debunking the myth that people are chronically dehydrated and need to drink at least eight glasses of water a day.
Myths have consequences, and this myth leads to an absolutely enormous market in bottled water: $7.7 billion in the USA in 2002. In Australia, consumers bought 520 million litres in 2004, and at a growth rate of 20%, that's probably passed a billion litres this year. The water has to come from somewhere: often it's merely tap water stuck in a fancy bottle, but it's often shipped great distances, increasing the environmental harm done by the manufacture of all those billions of one-use-only throw-away plastic bottles. And it frequently doesn't make economic sense either: the water companies have enough muscle to distort the market. For example, in the middle of a long-lasting drought in Victoria, a subsidiary of Coca-Cola has a permit to buy aquifer water at one quarter of one percent of the market rate for water: $2.40 per megalitre, compared to $960 per megalitre for tap water.
The Sydney Morning Herald wrote:
The 750ml size remained the same - people want a big drink these days. And as many people say they find it hard to drink the recommended two litres of water a day, Frucor brought in flavoured - but still colourless - waters to relieve the monotony.
Here's a hint folks: if your body is telling you "No more water please!", that's a sign that you should stop.
On a related note, with Australia in a state of essentially permanent drought, a British House of Commons report on the state of water treatment in Australia makes fascinating reading.