There are approximately 14.4 million undergraduate and 3.1 million graduate students currently enrolled in the U.S. (Census, 2003)
Americans bought 8.7 billion gallons of bottled water in 2008 (BMC, 2009).
Producing PET bottles uses the equivalent of more than 17 million barrels of oil and produces over 2.5 million tons of carbon dioxide (Pacific Institute, n.d.) - the same amount of carbon dioxide that would be emitted by over 400,000 passenger vehicles in one year (EPA, 2007a).
On average, the cost to treat, filter, and deliver water to ratepayers in the United States is 0.2 cents per gallon in the U.S (EPA, 2004) – roughly 750-2,700 times cheaper than bottled water on a per gallon basis, although this cost varies regionally.
Over 90 percent of U.S. municipal water systems regularly meet or exceed the EPA’s regulatory and monitoring requirements. (EPA, 2007).
According to 1999 government and industry estimates, about 25-40% of bottled water is actually bottled tap water, sometimes with additional treatment, sometimes not (NRDC, 1999).
In 2005, 96% of bottled water sold in the U.S. was packaged in PET containers, most of which were single-serve sizes of one liter or less (CRI, 2007).
In 2004, only 14.5 percent of non-carbonated beverage bottles made from PET were recycled (APC, 2005).
For each gallon of water that is bottled, an additional two gallons of water are used in processing (UCS, 2007).
A $1 increase in local government spending on water and sewer infrastructure and operations and maintenance (O&M) increases total local economic activity by $2.62 (USCM, 2008).
In an average week, a refrigerated fountain uses 8.5 to 10.5 kWh of electricity (NC, 2004).
While this number varies depending on frequency of use, air and water temperature, and unit size, this corresponds to a cost of $30-$38 per fountain per year (based on average North Carolina electricity rates) (NC, 2004).
Over an average week, a bottled water cooler uses approximately 3.5-4.5 kWh, which, according to the average electricity rates in one state, North Carolina, costs $12-$17 per cooler per year (NC, 2004).
Bottle-less coolers often use 30 to 50 percent less energy depending on the model and, based on the North Carolina case study and could save $4-$8 per cooler per week (Doughty, 2008).