Message in a Bottle

Water is the stuff of life. Humans, like all other animals, are largely made of it. Despite the fact that three quarters of our planet is H20-covered we just can’t seem get enough of it.

And if need be we’ll fight for it. An important reason the Arabs and Israelis went to war in 1967; they both wanted control over the Jordan River to irrigate their farms and green pastures.

But how much is water really worth?

Here in the Netherlands the cost of tap water is roughly 0.14 cents per litre. For this price it’s conveniently delivered at your home, 24/7 and you can drink it straight away. That’s cheap. How can we increase its value?

Put it in a bottle and call it ‘Evian’. Evian sells for roughly 1 euro per litre. That’s 700 times the price of regular water. Now that’s brand magic! Granted, Evian comes in a bottle that has a pretty picture of some mountains on it – but you still get water and nothing but water.

Could we boost the price even more?

Sure! Put it in an even smaller bottle and call it ‘Homeopathy’. Classic homeopathic remedies are diluted to a point that it contains not a single molecule of any supposed active ingredients. Homeopaths themselves couldn’t distinguish between their ‘medicine’ and plain water if it weren’t for the fancy bottle. Their customers don’t seem to mind; they gladly pay €190 per litre for this stuff.

Ka-ching! Homeopathic magic just jacked up the price of water by a factor of 135.000!

Call me naive, but someone should tell the Israelis and Arabs to forget their petty squabbling. Between the two of them they could be filthy rich: there’s more than enough of extremely valuable ‘homeopathic medicine’ in the Jordan River for them to sell and split the profits.

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