Entries in Water (3)


Superstorm Sandy Relief: Anheuser-Busch Turns Beer Into Water

ABC News (NEW YORK) -- They’re not turning water into wine but it’s almost as miraculous.

They are turning beer into water.

About 44 thousand cases of water instead of brew are heading to the New York/New Jersey area free of charge.

“Personally, for me it does mean a little bit more because I do have family affected by it,” said Anheuser-Busch Plant Manager Scott Vail, who is originally from New Jersey.

It sounds novel, but Anheuser-Busch has been converting beer lines to water lines for disaster relief dating back to the San Francisco earthquake of 1906.

Since 1988, the company has donated 71 million cans of water.

“(It) makes us feel great, a lot of people don’t have opportunities to help, so we look at this actually as an opportunity to help,” said Anheuser-Busch employee Sam McElveen.

Anheuser-Busch is not the only company stepping out their box to help in Sandy relief efforts.

Victoria’s Secret known for sexy ladies wear generated attention for loaning their generators to the National Guard during the storm.

Hess is delivering their gasoline to rival gas stations in need.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


11 Items That Will Cost More This Year

Brand X Pictures/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) -- The new year can bring a fresh start for many people and, unfortunately, higher prices on a number of consumer goods.

Commodity prices increased around the world in 2011, leading to hikes in everything from food to gold. Natural disasters, shrinking supplies of various materials, and other events lead to higher prices for many products.

In 2012, some increases could be expected, like ever-rising gas prices, while others, like a potential 25 percent hike on tap water, are more surprising, according to Dealnews.

1. Domestic and International Airfare:
Marshal Cohen, chief industry analyst with The NPD Group, said he has already experienced higher airfares in bookings for 2012. That's coupled with a slew of flights being dropped, he said. "Many smaller markets are now having three daily flights cut to two or even one," Cohen said. "That will drive fares up to those locations."

Travel to and within Europe will be hit especially hard.  The European Union implemented a "green tax" to reduce emissions, levying a fee of about $15 per passenger, each way, for flights to the U.S.  Fees on shorter flights within the European Union will be taxed slightly less, Dealnews reports.

2. New Digital Camera Models: Digital cameras with new technology, such as high-end digital SLRs, will have higher prices. But on existing models, the prices will decrease according to the natural maturation of electronics, Cohen said.

3. Hard Drives: Tragic flooding in Thailand in 2011, which has killed 780 people, has also led to a shortage of some electronics products, like hard drives.  Dealnews expects continued shortages throughout the first quarter of 2012, when experts predict that production will begin to catch up with demand.

4. Desktop Computers: The consolidation of desktop features into monitor-integrated units, many with touchscreens, will drive desktop prices higher next year, according to Stephen Baker, vice president of industry analysis at The NPD Group.  Dealnews said it expects average selling prices to increase roughly 30 percent on new desktops.

5. Food for Home Preparation: Food prices will jump in 2012 as the costs to harvest, transport, and store food will increase, and those hikes will be passed to consumers, said Cohen. Food costs rose 6 percent last year and will likely rise at least 2 percent more in 2012, Dealnews reported.

6. Mobile Device Data Plans: As carriers expand 4G services and move away from unlimited plans, data is set to become more expensive in 2012, according to Ross Rubin, executive director of Connected Intelligence at The NPD Group.

7. City-Enforced Fees: Dealnews said fees for everything from dog licenses to vehicle registration may increase as municipalities continue to try to plug holes in their budgets. Parking rates and infraction-related fines are also subject to increase.

8. Water: Water is one of the most basic commodities in the world but it is becoming more precious, said Cohen. Inclement weather around the world is creating greater shortages. Moving water to places that are lacking it will also drive this basic element to become more costly, he said.

9. Gas: Gas was already set to rise, but geopolitical issues in the Middle East, and a limited amount of domestic oil exploration due to Obama administration policies and environmental regulations are already set to exacerbate increasing gas prices. Last week, Iran's First Vice President Mohammad Reza Rahimi threatened to close the Strait of Hormuz, a vital oil waterway that borders Iran, if other countries sanction his country's crude exports because of its nuclear ambitions.  That could disrupt roughly a third of the world's tanker traffic and send oil prices skyrocketing, analysts say.

10. Gold: Gold is set to achieve its 11th consecutive year of growth, according to Dealnews.  Analysts expect the precious metal to rise about 12 percent next year.

11. Shipping: As the U.S. Postal Service may increase rates and eliminate one-day delivery to fill a budget deficit, FedEx and UPS are also expected to increase small package rates by 4.9 percent.  The loss of revenue for shipping companies and the increased cost of shipping creates a recipe for higher shipping costs all along the route, Cohen said.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


New York Water at Heart of Florida Lawsuits

Photo Courtesy - Getty Images(NEW YORK) -- Want to know what makes New York bagels taste so good?

Local lore says the secret is in the city's drinking water. But to two Florida restaurants, the water-bagel connection is more than myth, it's the stuff that lawsuits are made of.

Convinced that New York City drinking water contributes to better baked goods, the Original Brooklyn Water Bagel Co. of Delray Beach, Florida, and Mamma Mia's Trattoria & Brick Oven Pizzeria of Lake Worth, Florida., have locked horns in a legal battle over technology purported to "Brooklynize" water.

According to a document filed with the 15th Circuit Court in Palm Beach County, Florida, Brooklyn Water claims that through the purchase of baking equipment Mamma Mia misappropriated the company's trade secrets and confidential information for its own benefit.

In a countersuit filed with the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Florida, Mamma Mia's says Brooklyn Water falsely advertises that it has a patent on the replication process, thereby deceiving the public and deterring competition.

"You've heard of the Coca-Cola formula? You've heard of the [Kentucky Fried Chicken's] 11 herbs and spices that's locked away under lock and key? Now you're hearing of our trade secret," said Ira Marcus, senior vice president and general counsel for the Original Brooklyn Water Bagel Co.

In 2007, Steven Fassberg, the company's president, CEO and founder, started investigating the composition of New York water, Marcus said.

"He knew that what was in the water made a difference as to making bread, bagels and pizza dough," Marcus said. "He thought that if he could understand how that all worked, we could use a process [so that] wherever we were locally, we could replicate an authentic New York bagel and, ultimately, pizza."

Marcus declined to elaborate on the water's composition, but said that certain elements in the typically soft New York water react especially positively with the yeast in the bread's recipe.

Once Fassberg and his team analyzed the water to identify those key elements, he said, they worked with a water treatment equipment manufacturer and, through trial and error, developed a process that consistently gives local water the same properties as New York water. 

Copyright 2010 ABC News Radio

ABC News Radio