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    Americans Keep Drinking Up Bottled Water

    Beverage surpasses milk and closes in on beer in average per capita consumption.

    NEW YORK -- For the first time, Americans on average drank more bottled water than milk in 2006 and drank nearly as much bottled water as beer, according to Beverage Digest, an industry newsletter that tracks U.S.
    beverage sales.

    If this trend continues, Americans could be drinking more bottled water than tap water within a few years, The Atlanta Journal-Constitution reported.

    John Sicher, publisher of Beverage Digest -- which tabulated the consumption figures --- said portability and health are the key reasons for bottled water's popularity.

    "Tap water is in trouble," he quipped to the newspaper.

    The figures showed average per capita consumption of bottled water grew from 11 to 21 gallons between 1996 and 2006, while consumption of milk dropped from 22.7 to 19.5 gallons over the 10-year span. Beer consumption held steady at 21.8 gallons.

    Soft drink consumption dropped from 52 to 50.9 gallons, according to the figures.

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