THE Hydrachill drinking water fountain planned for Hammersmith bus station should be rightly applauded ('Fountains to spring up across city', Kensington & Chelsea News, October 15), but let's not lose perspective in the rush to decry bottled water.
Just as the first public drinking fountain 150 years ago failed to get the toiling masses into the water habit and 'out of the pub', so the average Brit today drinks just 200ml of water a day - less than one glass out of the six to eight we should be drinking.
Making safe drinking water more readily available is to be encouraged, but we shouldn't lose sight of the fundamentally important role that bottled water
has played. As a nation we have drunk the same amount of tap water for the last 30 years (around 100ml a day).
The growth of bottled water over the last decade actually came in addition to, not instead of, tap.
It displaced other soft drinks in our diet. So the historical legacy of bottled water is that it got us drinking more water - around twice as much. Unfortunately, we still do not drink enough.
So we should embrace fountains, but as well as bottled water, not instead, as we strive to lead healthier lives.
Director Natural Hydration Council