Ryan Chartrand

A new trend is taking campus by storm. I’m not talking about any designer jeans, bags or shoes. It isn’t even anything you wear. It’s the water you carry around.

I’m not sure why, but apparently water is now a fashion statement.

The most popular one is probably smartwater, but I’ve seen quite a few bottles of FIJI and even the occasional VOSS. Evian isn’t that popular anymore – it’s just too ’90s.

It’s kind of ridiculous that people find it necessary to spend this much money on the thing that makes up almost 75 percent of our body weight.

The average case of 24 bottles of water at the grocery store costs between $4 and $7. The same amount of smartwater goes for about $15. You can order FIJI for home delivery at just $29 a case. VOSS is $43 a case for the plastic bottle or you can get 12 glass bottles for $35. And no, none of these are sparkling; it’s just plain drinking water.

It’s funny that we complain about how much gas is (close to $3.50 a gallon) and then some people go out and spend more than $9 a gallon for their trendy water.

Water is something we can get for free. OK, so I don’t drink tap water, but it is available. I know it doesn’t taste good and I will completely agree that some water is better than others. My problem is that I don’t see that much difference between the bottled brands, so I did some homework.

Smartwater is bottled by a company called Glaceau. They say that smartwater is different because it’s vapor distilled. I’m not sure why, but I guess that’s better than purified water.

Then, they add a “unique blend of electrolytes” (magnesium, potassium and calcium) which are supposed to be “perfect for outrunning taxis, making leaps and bounds (or) dodging low flying birds,” according to the Web site.

I’ve tasted it and it tastes the same to me. You do get to look at a cute little fishy while you drink, though. I’m not sure if that would really make me want to pay extra, but it’s OK if you do.

FIJI is natural artesian water. OK, let’s find out what that means. According to their Web site, artesian water comes from an aquifer underground that has no contact with air or pollutants because it’s protected by rock and clay.

This brand comes from an aquifer at the edge of a rain forest in the Yaqara Valley of Viti Levu. It also has higher silica levels than most other bottled waters.

VOSS also comes from an aquifer, but this one is in southern Norway. It was created by two Norwegian men, Ole Christian Sandberg and Christopher Harlem. They focus just as much, if not more, on the image of the brand as they do the water itself.

It was created to be a trend. They wanted a cool bottle that was distinct and recognizable; one that looked like it cost a lot. This just shows that it isn’t anything special about the water. At least VOSS can admit that and doesn’t try to act like the water is actually healthier than more generic brands.

If you want to look like you have money, buy the expensive water, but don’t try to act like it has nothing to do with the prestige of the bottle.

All I’m trying to say is that no one would ever open up a bottle of VOSS and pour it into their free ASI water bottle, but I’m sure people reuse smartwater bottles and fill them up with Brita water. If you cared that much about the water itself, you wouldn’t make sure your FIJI bottle was always sitting right in front of you for all to see.

Rachelle Santucci is a journalism junior and Mustang Daily staff writer.

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